Skip to Content

Can I get a flu shot while taking Cosentyx?

Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on Oct 1, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Cosentyx (secukinumab) is an immunosuppressant injection that works by decreasing the body immune response. In plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), these conditions are caused by the immune system being overactive against your own body. Cosentyx works by decreasing the immune response, you then have less symptoms and your condition improves or stabilises.

Can I get a flu shot while taking Cosentyx?

The answer to whether you can get a flu (influenza) shot when on Cosentyx is both yes and no, so it is a little bit complicated.

  • No, you should NOT have a live flu vaccination (live-attenuated vaccines) while on Cosentyx as you may end up with a severe reaction from the virus infection spreading throughout your body as it is uncontrolled by your suppressed immune system. An example of a live flu vaccination is FluMist which you should NOT have while on Cosentyx
  • Yes, you can have a non-live flu (inactivated vaccines) vaccination and recombinant flu vaccination while on Cosentyx because it is unable to cause an infection, as it can not replicate. However because Cosentyx works by decreasing the immune response, you may not get a benefit from having the vaccination, this is because the immune response may be so small that it isn’t enough to prevent the flu.

What is the difference between live, non-live vaccines and recombinant vaccines?

Vaccines work by teaching your immune system to fight off viruses, bacterial or toxins.

  • Live vaccines (live-attenuated vaccines) use a weakened form of the virus so that the body creates a strong long lasting protection against the virus.
  • Non-live vaccines (inactivated vaccines) use a killed version of the flu virus that the body’s immune system responds to and forms an immunity to the virus.
  • Recombinant vaccines (subunit or conjugate vaccines) use a specific piece of the flu virus that causes the body to create an immune response to the flu virus.

Bottom line

  • Cosentyx is an immunosuppressant medicine which reduces your immune system.
  • Flu vaccinations help prevent the flu by teaching your immune system to fight off the flu virus.
  • Live flu vaccines (live-attenuated vaccines) should be avoided while on Cosentyx as you risk getting severe infection as the virus can replicate if your immune system is suppressed
  • Non-live flu vaccines (inactivated vaccines) and recombinant flu vaccines may be given while on Cosentyx, but you may not have a benefit from the vaccine and the immune response may be too small to prevent the flu.
References

Related Medical Questions

Drug Information

Related Support Groups