Common Cold with Low Immune System - Vasculitis UK

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Common Cold with Low Immune System


I have had Cyclophosphamide and currently on Azathioprine and for the first time in 11 months caught a cold. What happens? is it different? More severe? Just interested.

10 Replies


I've been on steroids and mycophenolate for five years (reacted badly to azathioprine), and not had a cold at all. However, the other year I caught the very bad chest infection that was doing the rounds, the one that laid up the queen, and it took ages to clear. I was ill most of the winter that year. I was told to reduce my mycophenolate at the time.

That's all I can tell you I'm afraid.

From reading posts here, I've learned that we are all different, and our bodies react differently.

I'd see how your cold goes, and if it leads to other things, like your chest for instance, then seek advice from your rheumatologist.

Best Wishes.

Investigator1 in reply to May7

Thanks May7, I am due to see my consultant Monday but spoke to my GP this morning who said colds normally pass as usual with people with low immune systems but if it goes onto chest then they have a lower threshold for administering antibiotics.

I’ve only had two colds in the 5+ years since being diagnosed (Billy-no-mates me!). The first was no more severe than usual but lasted 5weeks and the second, caught when Azathioprine was no longer working, was over in 3 days!

There’s a coincidence my Azathioprine is becoming less effective hence a trip to my specialist on Monday.

Hmm, you haven’t been on the Aza for very long and it seems that your body may already be failing to metabolise it. Maybe ask your consultant to put you on a different immunosuppressant? When I was swapped to MMF it instantly stopped the terrible nausea too. On the positive side, if the Aza is less effective maybe your cold will be over sooner as well.

Your right! ANCA Levels were at 40 in June, 52 in July, 62 in August and last one a fortnight ago 67, my Consultant said last week it doesn’t necessarily mean I am having a relapse but I said it’s going in the wrong direction though! She spoke about going onto Rituximab in preference to Methotrexate I will know more on Monday. I will have to bang the drum a bit I think. Especially as they are trying to keep people away from hospitals.

I don’t tend to get proper colds but have problems with my sinuses that usually end up with with a chest infection. I have been a lot better this year as have not seen so much of the grandchildren. Do get antibiotics quickly if it goes to your chest I’ve ended up with Bronchiectasis as a result of so many infections/vasculitis. I hope your cold passes without any problems.

Hi with me it was no worse but just took ages to clear up, see your doctor if it goes to your chest.

Investigator1 in reply to Razor4

Hi Razor4, the really weird thing is I posted my question the Cold was getting hold, I usually get one per year and it’s a good un. The symptoms were exactly the same. Now here is the weird thing my wife said have a couple of glasses of wine before bed and you never know I woke at about 7 and thought ok doesn’t feel too bad knowing this things get worse as you start moving about. Not a dicky, completely gone, no sneezing, no runny nose nothing. Work that one out! Thanks to everyone for advice on this.

Hi it can take longer to get better as aziathioprine suppresses your immune system. You also need to be careful it doesn’t develop into a chest infection. Sometimes if I don’t get better I need to come off my aziathioprine and take steroids just for about a week. Take care

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