Pneumonia shot?

My GP mentioned that if the rheumy put me on methotrexate I should get a pneumonia shot. It wasn't mentioned by the rheumy at the appt, but I remembered it afterward.
Anyone know about this, if it is highly recommended?


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hmmm... thats a great question! I never thought of that. I would also like to know if anyone has experience in this...
I know I always get the flu shots from my Rhuemmy

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I suffer from asthma and enviromental allergies. When I went on mtx I had to get the pneu. shot prior as a precaution. You do not have to get them yearly and I can't remember how long it is good for. I would suggest that if possible that you do not start any meds when you are not feeling up to par and dbl check with Rhuemy mentioning that your GP suggested this. My GP is my primary, knows me better than any specialist ever will (been with him 20+ years) so I usually follow his suggestions. Hope this has helps - "Ck"

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I got my pneumonia shot only because I've had so often in the past year. It would be a good idea, just be aware that it doesn't cover all types of pneumonia. I found that out after i got pneumonia once again even after having the shot.

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, like the flu shot, I would imagine the pneumonia shot only covers certain strains. It's even more of a concern to me because I work in a drug store, where every little thing comes in and touches my hands through the cash. I do use the hand sanitizer but that can only do so much of course.

As far as starting meds when feeling under par, I am to take the MTX every week. Would you recommend that if I were feeling a little yucky that I put off for a day or two? This is all so new and foreign to me, so hopefully these don't sound too stupid to ask.


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I was also advised to have pneumonia shot before I started enbrel. I went ahead and got it because I have been prone to getting a lot of chest issues. I think it's given every three years. The only think I cannot remember is if it's a live vaccine which you cannot have on any of the biologicals. Also have the flu shot every year. Still ended up the flu in Jan but it did not linger long like it used to do.

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I didn't get the pneumonia shot when starting mtx, but did so a couple of years later on general principle as I, too, am susceptible to respiratory crud. It's supposed to last up to 10 years, but I got another one last fall after 7 years to be careful as I'm on Humira now. The guidelines from the CDC say:

The vaccine is recommended for:
* High-risk people age 2 or older
o Includes persons with heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, alcoholism, diabetes, cirrhosis, cochlear implants, and leaks of cerebrospinal fluid
* Everyone age 65 years or older
* Those with sickle cell disease
* Those who have had their spleen removed
* Persons who live in nursing homes (extended-care facilities)
* Persons who live in any institution where there are people with chronic health problems
* Persons with conditions that weaken the immune system, such as cancer, HIV, or organ transplantation
* Persons who receive chronic (long-term) immunosuppressive medications, including steroids
* Alaskan natives and certain Native American populations over age 50 who live in high-risk areas

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Hi Nancy

I am very very prone to colds normally and when they started me on biologics I told them this. I also have bronchitis - I would strongly recommend getting the shot and all my derms both at Rockefeller and Mt Sinai told me to get it. My whole immune system got so weird from this illness that sometimes my flues/colds lasted 4-5 months
Now when taking these drugs they do advise when you get sick to not inject until the derm tells you it is ok. But because our immune system is already weirded out from these drugs and this illness sometimes we have to look at a whole new approach how we deal with cold and flus and bronchial thingies. I will never forget how sick I was that year and I really take care not to get that ill now

Although I dont get sick as badly now I do get sick but it is strange - instead of getting the whole cold at once and being sick with that for 4-5 months - I got it in stages this year. First I get runny nose and maybe sneeze - then that stops and I start to cough for a few weeks - then that stops and I might develop a small fever - then that stops and I get a sore throat. Right now I am back to the sore throat stage although today oddly it doesn't hurt. My cold came in stages this year instead of all together.

Want to know what works the best if you catch the cold in time - Tylenol cold and flu mix you put in hot water and drink. That is the only thing that actually has an effect on me no matter what the dr gives. And it is over the counter - Nyquil used to work but not any more

Good luck


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Thanks for the tips as to the Tylenol.

Interesting how you get sick differently. This is so different and strange to me, doing these immune affecting drugs. I have only had one dose of MTX so far, another coming up tomorrow night. I know that it has to be done, but I hate taking anything like this.

Ah well... take it and trust.


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