Safety First

At the European rheumatology conference, known as EULAR, there were several sessions held simultaneously over the four day meeting. There were over 16,000 people in attendance. One of the sessions focused on safety. United States physician Dr. Kevin Winthrop outlined the importance of vaccination and preventing infection while on immunosuppressive therapy.  We have written several blogs on vaccinations that should be given prior to the administration of drugs that suppress the immune system. Despite recommendations from health professionals, the level of vaccinations given prior to the initiation of these treatments is quite poor internationally. Emphasis was made on the importance of vaccines for pneumonia and shingles.

In regards to adverse affects of treatments while people were on biologic therapies, the most reported instances were from the use of anti-inflammatories or steroids needed to control flares. These were at a much higher incidence than any adverse effects from biologics themselves.

Stay tuned for more updates in the blogs to follow…

Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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