Worried about flu shot

I am wondering if any one with psoriatic arthritis has gotten the flu shot, and if it had negative effects on your symptoms. I am worried that if I get the flu shot it could make my joints hurt more or cause a flare up. I have googled it and haven't found much. Has any one had any experiences they could share?

Thanks in advance ! :)


Hi Jen. I have a flu shot every year without any complications. It seems a safe way to reduce the chance of a viral infection that will set your PsA off into a flare.

You are much better of getting a flu shot that you are getting the flu! Some docs even insist on immunization for patients taking biologics.

Thanks for your reply Allan. I've been debating it with myself for awhile now, I think I may just go for it.

Its easy with my doc.......

No flu shot no meds.......

I'd be so nervous to get it if I was taking biologics. Good to know that you can though. I am currently battling with myself to not take Enbrel as that scares me as well. I wish there was just some magic pill that could cure this horrible thing. ;/

Seenie said:

You are much better of getting a flu shot that you are getting the flu! Some docs even insist on immunization for patients taking biologics.

Jen, we all wish there were a magic pill to snuff out this monster! Alas, there isn't. I can totally understand your fear of the medications: we've all been there. But the truth is that PsA can be a very aggressive and highly destructive disease. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be scared of the meds, but I AM saying that you need to be more scared of the disease.

Make no mistake about it, damage can happen quickly, and some people have learned this the hard way. That said, all of us here understand where you are coming from. This isn't an easy position to find yourself in.


PS I'm guessing that Lamb is composing his response right now. ;-)

Actuslly I was. Whos treat ing you and how in the H did you get babesia? (and where)

I am always out in the woods walking the dog, or in the park with the kids so it was common for me to find ticks sneaking along my skin, I'd just flick em off. I suppose I missed one at one point. I was feeling quiet ill for a few months, it wasn't letting up. I felt like I had the flu. I ended up pregnant and everything seemed fine until I miscarried and the doctors were clueless, but they knew I felt like crap, but my tests seem to look good. Before me and my husband decided to try again, I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I went to countless doctors and they all diagnosed me with everything from fybromyalgia to depression.I wasn't satisfied. The fevers were getting worse my legs were swollen, I couldn't walk. I went from being an active healthy 30 year old to being non functional basically overnight. FINALLY, I found a doctor who treats infectious diseases and she tested me for Lyme and saw that not only was I positive but I have the co-infection (babesia) and that was causing the night sweats, fevers and so on. Worst experience ever. She was able to treat that with Mepron, but it took some time. Now I just battle with the chronic lyme, which so generously activated my auto immune system. Now here I am with psoriatic arthritis. As of late the lyme is acting up again, I have some "inflammation" in the liver and my enzymes have been very elevated for quite some time. I feel the sore muscles kicking in as well and I can see water filling up around my knee again. No fun !

Which medical centers is you doc associated with

I would request a second opinion at New York Presbyterian. Its really rare to get lymes AND Babesia (unless you are a pig farmer) In any event NYP just happens to be the number one place in the world for infectous arthtitis. I would not take an influenza vaccine without more info. For that matter I'd be very careful about Biologics. I'm glad for you that you have a doc who has given you answers that I am sure you were so desperate for. I can nit imagine the pain you have had.

You are so close to the BEST in the world, take advantage.

Have you had any further attacks? They have done sone things with transfusions at NYP that are amazing in getting rid of the protozoas. You have nothing to lose. I am glad you have chosen to join us here PLEASE keep us involved.......

I am right outside the city. We have plenty of farms here :) lol I have heard of a few cases locally. It's not as uncommon as some think, but still not common enough that all doctors care to treat it. I see a doctor in St. Francis In Poughkeepsie NY. She is wonderful. She has so many Lyme patients that she currently stopped taking on new cases. Thanks for the referral to NYP. I will have to look into it. I am on the search for a new Rheumy, because the one I currently see doesn't have the best bedside manner.

Please think about finding your new Rheumy at NYP. Lamb is the best at this; it is all over my head but if Lamb says NYP you can take it to the bank!

Please keep us in the loop. I am learning so much on this site. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Also I am so sorry for your loss<3

Oh, and as for attacks, no not really. After the Mepron treatment the fevers stopped, the night sweats stopped and my vision came back nice and clear. The only thing I battle with daily is my hearing comes and goes for seconds at a time. It is spontaneous. I had my hearing checked, but of course at the time it came back perfect.... My doctor said that is just a neurological effect and there is not much that can be done about it at this point. I did discuss getting intravenous medicine with my lyme doctor but the insurance companies don't want to hear it. Such a pain !

Its just not fair kid. But then life isn't. Our north American version of Malaria AND PsA, wow just wow. You are an inspiration just posting. You have too much on your plate.

I have reasonable confidence the insurance will come around with a little help. The Cornell unit is your best choice. Steve Paget is the man. Iwould imagine he is emeritus status by now. He is a legend with infectous arthritis not to mention multiple articles on PsA. Even if he is gone, ask for him anyway and tell the gatekeepers why.........

I was going to say have the flu vaccine, until I read the WHOLE discussion!
I definitely echo what’s already been said…get expert advice first!
I’ve always had the flu vaccine especially as I’m ‘front line staff’ and never experienced any problems so far.
Good luck with it all Jen, x

Jen- Where do yo live? I'm in Westchester County. Private message me if you want.

Jen, so sorry for all you’re dealing with. Reading your post made me so thankful for all the experts and their wealth of knowledge who help moderate. Lamb, Seenie, Michael in Vermont and the rest are so helpful and smart about all this stuff. And there’s no co-pay needed to log on! Good luck, Jen. This is a tough time for sure for you, and coming here will help ease your burden.

Jane, I hope Jen finds good support here too. When I was in the throes of trying to find appropriate treatment here in the Canadian hinterland, this board is where I came for encouragement and advice. When I was laid up with the hip that PsA wrecked, my friends here (like you) kept me company. They even managed to make me laugh occasionally! When I was asked to help moderate, I would have jumped out of my chair, if I could only do that any more. I know from experience what a difference this forum has made to me, and I so wanted to give back.
Yes, Jen has a lot on her plate. I hope we can, as you say, ease her burden just a bit.

You’re doing a great job, Seenie. Glad you got into the clinic in Toronto. Progress!