Will a pneumonia vaccine be effective while taking a course of prednisolone tablets?

Hi everyone. I have RA and started on MTX 3 weeks ago. I've had 3 steroid shots over the last 3 months, but my pain has returned, so my dr has given me a short course (17 days) of Prednisolone tablets, starting at 20mg and reducing every few days..

I am having a pneumonia vaccine on Monday, and I will have been on the pred tabs for 7 days.

-Does anyone have any idea if that could compromise the effectiveness of the vaccine?

-Should not take the Pred tablet on the same day as I have the jab?

Thanks for any advice!

12 Replies

  • Probably stop for at least a few days I think. Check with your rheumatologist or GP!

  • Hi Thanks for you reply Hawker. Yeah, I will try to ask my GP - so hard to get to talk to these people! The nurse wasn't sure..

  • Hiya jimmx. Sorry you've been diagnosed but pleased you've found us, I hope it helps. I'd ask for advice from your GP, with pred being a common med & has been prescribed by him he should know, he may want to delay giving you the Pneumovax until you've finished the course of pred as it might not be as effective. I'm on low dose pred & had it a few months ago but it's a maintenance dose so quite different, it would have taken me months to stop it!

  • Thanks nomoreheels, - Glad I've found you all !

    My dr just said to get the pneumonia jab as soon as possible - he said that to me on the same phone call as prescribing the pred tabs.. I wish i'd have thought to ask the question then! -it's so hard to get to talk to him again... But sounds like a good idea to try!

    Also i'm in a state of constant flare as it's early days with treatment, and I feel like i have hot flushes on and off all the time - so I'm not sure if you can have the jab in a flare up anyway ?

  • Good, I'm pleased! Well as it was your GP who told you to I would either take it from that it's ok... or as most are he's overworked & it slipped his mind he'd prescribed you pred! Seriously, you need to double check, do they offer telephone consultations at your Surgery, or when you go for the Pneumovax can your nurse pop in & ask him between his appointments? With you being newly diagnosed it's better to be sure, he should understand that.

    It's an awful period you're going through but it's not forever thankfully. Give your MTX another month or thereabouts & things should be settling down, although you might notice subtle changes before then.

    There has been talk of the pneumonia vaccine being less effective for those on immunosuppressive meds but, hey, I'd rather do as my Rheumy requests than have pneumonia, it's bad enough having lingering colds with RD! Have you had your flu jab? If not I'd ask your nurse for that too, also ask to be put on the annual reminder, they'll then automatically send you notification for next year then.

  • If your dr told you to have it while prescibing steroids then get it done asap.xxxx

  • Thanks Sylvi x

  • Thanks for that - yep, had my yearly flu jab before this pesky RA business started!

    Sounds wise to try to check first with my doc - thanks for all the advice folks

  • I had my pneumonia vaccination last week. On methotrexate and 4 weeks into starting biologics. No problems so far

  • Hi

    I have had the Pneumovax while being on Pred.

    My Consultant is v keen for us RA sufferers to have both the flu jab and the Pneumovax vaccine.

  • I have just had my pneumonia jab this morning - recommended by RA clinic with start of metho and steroids. Nurse at GP this morning also went carefully through a file of stuff about the vaccine and found no contraindications re steroids. but always check with your own GP surgery. You could ring them in advance to ask?

  • Thanks everyone for all your replies - I've left a message yesterday at my surgery to ask.. Also I've asked if it's ok to have the vaccine the day after taking my MTX tabs... haven't heard anything yet from them!

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