Do you worry about infections?

I suppose this is mostly aimed towards those on immunosuppressive medication.

The only thing I've ever worried about is chicken pox and with valid reasons as I used to work in a nursery school and now I live with a primary school teacher. General bugs and viruses don't really worry me as in, I don't go to lengths to avoid catching 'germs'.

I am now on Humira, MTX and leflunomide. Perhaps it's the combo but when Healthcare at Home came, they were very firm about infection risk and being careful such as; not eating raw fish. (I love sushi!!) My GP is also quite anxious and hands out antibiotics quite often if I show any sign of being unwell. I can't say it occupies a great deal of brain space though.

11 Replies

  • I do think about what I eat ie meat well cooked, avoiding pate and soft cheese and raw egg etc - the same that is advised when pregnant.

    There is not a lot you can really do to avoid bugs and viruses especially around children - I have been on various biologics since my youngest was 3 with no real problems.

    I think you have to learn to read your body which takes time and at your next contact with Rheumatology ask which meds to stop if antibiotics are needed so you are prepared in case of an infection as this seems to differ between rheumatology departments. Sometimes if you have a really bad cold close to your injection time it can help to miss it to give your body chance to fight it although it took me a long time to work this out. Farm

  • Me and my o/f were on about this last night, i work in a school kitchen, and i serve them their dinners, and the amount of them that cough and sneeze all over the place, I can catch a cold so easy, so lets hope this winter i can keep away from any bugs that think they can get me lol, I do a bit of cooking at home making cakes and things, better stop licking the bowel out then, ooppppppppppppssssssssssss lol

  • I always think about the eggs in the cake mix after I have fought with the children over who licks the bowl.

    If you have been working in the kitchen for a while you may have picked up some immunity against the common viruses. Farm

  • fingers crossed farm, i love licking the mixture out after making a cake was one of the best bit lol

  • I only bake to lick the bowl!

  • There is a blood test you can take to see if you have already been exposed and have a immunity to chicken pox. Here in Canada we have a injection to keep you from getting chicken pox maybe look into that.

  • thank you flower, my list is growing day by day of questions i need to ask nurse/doc next visit,

  • Hi, yes we have the chicken pox vaccine here too, usually when we start at primary school.I think what the op was alluding too was the possible risk of shingles if one comes into close contact with a child with chicken pox. I have taken azathioprine along with Infliximab for around 4 years and I appear not to have ever had an infection in that time. TBH I never get colds either-work that one out.

  • I have a bladder condition which makes me prone to infections (UTI's), so am far more concerned about this than chicken pox etc. I've heard a lot lately about antibiotic resistant bugs, which being on a combo of enbrel, mtx, lefluomide and hydroxy, does worry me quite a bit. By coincidence I just heard a snippet on radio 5 about some professor being concerned about the number of deaths from sepsis due to these antibiotic resistant bugs.

    Radio 5 are hoping to talk with the professor later in the program. To be honest, I think I'll give the interview a miss as it will probably add to my concerns.

  • I have been on Enbrel for several years now and have had no infections apart from the odd cold which I have fought off on my own with no complications. i guess I have built up good immunities over the years. i was a bit concerned to read that your GP sounds rather liberal with antibiotics which don't work with viral infections. They are best saved for a bacterial infection. They don't work well if you take them too often.

  • I got a lot of infections when I was on the anti tnfs. I have a lung condition which makes me more prone to chest infections but I also got skin ones and cuts that didn't heal very well. I loaded myself up with anti bacterial hand gel and First Defence and it helped. Also, you should have a flu jab as a matter of course.

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