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COVID Alert: Many Prescription Drugs Reduce Vaccine Response

In All Health Watch, Coronavirus, Featured Article

Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that people who take certain prescription medications may not get full protection from COVID vaccines.[1]

The drugs include common steroid anti-inflammatory medications, autoimmune drugs, cancer drugs, and immunosuppressants taken by organ recipients.[2]

Nearly 3% of Americans over 65 take at least one of these drugs, the researchers said.

Are Your Medications Thwarting the COVID Vaccine?

Dr. Beth Wallace led the study. “We’re starting to realize that people taking immunosuppressive drugs may have a slower, weaker response to COVID vaccination,” she said. “In some cases, they might not respond at all.”[3]

Dr. Wallace and her colleagues cited more than 140 medications that may make COVID shots less effective.

The most widely taken drugs on the list include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs: prednisone, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone
  • Autoimmune drugs that treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease: adalimumab, baricitnib, certolizumab, etanercept, infliximab, tofacitinib
  • Cancer drugs: venetoclax, doxorubicin, etoposide
  • Anti-rejection drugs: azathioprine, cyclosporine, mycophenolic acid, tacrolimus

For a full list of medications that may impair vaccine response, GO HERE.

If you are taking one or more of these drugs, Dr. Wallace said that you should talk to your doctor about strategies to boost your vaccine response. They may include getting a booster shot or temporarily going off the drugs around the time of vaccination.

“This is an individual decision people should make with their doctor,” she said.

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