Flu Shot Season!

Does anyone have a problem with the vaccine? I know a few chronic illness patients that cannot tolerate it, and they will get 1/2 of a shot, and the second half a week later.

Also, the CDC and ACR both recommend killed virus vaccines only for chronic illness patients. I think it would be safe to err on the side of caution for ANYONE to avoid the live virus?

What is the benefit of the live inhaled version over the killed shot?

And it seems regardless of which we get, it does not work 100% on immune-suppressed patients.

read below:

From the Arthritis Foundation:

Because the flu can be especially dangerous for anyone who has a chronic illness or an immune system suppressed by drugs, the CDC recommends that people who have autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, get an annual flu shot, which contains a killed version of the virus. Inhaled vaccines contain live viruses and are not recommended for people with autoimmune diseases.

There have been two concerns about the flu vaccine for people who have autoimmune diseases. The first is that the medications like methotrexate and prednisone, which work by suppressing the immune system, may keep the vaccine from being effective.

Not to worry. A study published in 2006 in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found that people with rheumatoid arthritis who were taking immunosuppressant drugs were able to respond to the flu shot, though they didn't have as strong a response as healthy adults who served as controls.

I'm out on this because of autoimmune but especially because I take a biologic, 'Enbrel'! I think it is a good idea for most!

good info, Renie!

BTW this 'fluzone' is NOT recommended for anyone who has had Guillain Barre Syndrome!

I have an autistic son who is deathly afraid of shots, and so he opts for the nasal live attenuated vaccine. I am allergic to thimerisol, so I always get a flu shot that it thimerisol free. Even with that, I still feel sick for a day or two after getting the shot–and this I attribute to Fibromyalgia. But now that I know what it is, I just plan to be down for a couple days, take ibuprofen and that is that!

I would also be interested to know if the live virus nasal version offers anything other than it is not in a shot form and is not given in the muscle.

Thanks, Renie. Never even connected the dots of why I always get a slight fever and the body aches increase, especially the arm that I got the shot. Just got mine yesterday (a nurse comes and gives them to every worker plus those spouses who take the insurance, UHC). Of course I woke up to an extremely sore arm and am freezing - body temp of 99.5. But it sure beats getting the flu! Got it last year with shot and was down for over a week - almost hospitalized for dehydration. Keeping fingers crossed this year :slight_smile:

I never really thought about it either, kinda brushed it off that "it happens to everyone"...

Who knew? Makes sense though !

I have trigeminal neuralgia and other fibro-like symptoms which include severe fatigue. After several years of feeling like I had been by a semi just hours after taking the flu shot, I tried the flu mist nasal spray. It did not aggravate any of my symptoms. I do not take anything to suppress my immune response and an not immuno-compromised, so it may not be an option for some. However I would definitely ask my doctor about it if you only have fibro issues.

All three of my docs say that I have to get and since was in office of one on Monday did not have choice when asked if had received yet when said no was told when med assistant draws blood will give flu shot, only side effect for me is a sore arm, guess am just lucky. Good Luck to all else who receive.

I had the same response as you for several years. I worked in a clinic and discussed it with the drug rep who recommended I try the mist. It provides the same benefits as the shot. I did not have any of the negative effects, no fever, headache, fatigue, nothing. I do know it is not recommended if you have asthma or a diabetic. Good luck!

Wow – I am going to try the nasal variety next year! Thanks everyone!

I had mine last week. It caused a rather large, very hot to the touch, red swelling to pop up for about 3 days and then went back down. Other than that it caused no problems at all :D. I am glad I had it done because when I last had flu it was unbearable :( xx

md, I have done some research on TN and my heart goes out to you. The pain of this is literally 'off the charts'. Even the medical community acknowledges it as such.

I am glad you are with us here on the Fibro site, but I also know that Ben's Friends has a fabulous TN group, that I hope you are already a part of!

I wish you well, and hope that you are able to find relief.

Great big hugs,


I got one a few years back and I was sick for a week. I haven't gotten one since. With my husband's asthma perking up lately I have been wondering if I should. With him home all the time now because of his Brain Injury from a car accident, I am not sure. I have a pain doc appointment in a couple of weeks so I am going to ask him if I should. Then I will, if he says yes, go to my CVS and get the shot...if no...then I won't.

I remember the first one I had made me sick for a week or so, and after that I have not had any illness type problems. I wonder if maybe the first one is a problem for everyone (especially people on here) and the ones after that are not a problem. Just an observation xx

I am thinking that perhaps when you have the first jab you have very few flu antibodies and therefore it makes you ill for a week or so before you manage to fight it off, then as you have the jab the next time you have retained more antibodies so you begin fighting the virus much more effectively without first becoming ill. That would be the medical answer anyway, all I know is it sucked the first time but even that was not a patch on how ill I have felt in the past with flu so I am happy to get it done :D xx

I have chronic illnesses but do not take any of those meds, and my drs make sure I get the flu shot every year. If I get sick and vomit more than 3-4 times, I am supposed to go to the dr or ER-whichever is open.

You may have saved some people some serious grief and illness, Renie, by posting this. Thank you so much! I never knew this. Maybe you should post it on the autoimmune boards here too. It really is a very important topic.

Thanks again.

I love it when you give us the logical reasons for why things are as they are, Mike. My brain just doesn't work that way so it's a delight to hear new ways of thinking about things.

If the pain of TN is "off the charts" and way worse than fibro pain, then I am soooooo sorry and sympathetic to your plight, MD. I can't imagine it and I surely wish you didn't have to suffer with it. Is the pain treatable? What a sad thing to be stuck with such a horrible combination of illnesses.

Gentle hugs,


Hello Renie,

I was advised that it is not safe to get a flu shot this year due to the poor state of my immune system. I don’t remember specifics on why it is medically dangerous but will post when or if I find this information. (it was a hand-out the doctor provided)

My previous doctors have said it is fine but I always have a mini-flu afterwards as well as an extremely sore arm.


I would encourage everyone to read the following article, in the spirit of being an informed patient.

Here you go: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/18/flu-shot-increases-flu-illness.aspx

Basically it talks about information released in Canada regarding the safety of the flu shot.