Sjogren's Syndrome Support Group

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva. It also associated with rheumatic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and it is rheumatoid factor positive in 90 percent of cases.

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Emergen-C, flu vaccines, and other trivia

Trivial since I'm feeling pretty good since I started Plaquenil. However, I think I've picked up a cold--no big deal--but I'm confused about whether I should behave as I would have last year and take Emergen-C, drink Echinacea tea, etc.

Also, I was under the impression that we shouldn't get the flu shot, but my doctors all recommend it, including my rheumatologist. In fact, I had the shot when I was at his office. Did I do the wrong thing?

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

As far as I know you did the right thing and I don't believe that any of the other things you are taking should cause you any problems either.

People like us don't need and certainly don't want the added pain and suffering of the flu if we can help it.
Tom59
Tom59

I already posted your answer, get the shot. So you are golden. :-) They recommend it the Sjogrens Foundation that is......
deleted_user
deleted_user

I never got the flu shot until last year and every year I would get bronchitis. Last year I never got sick. This year when I went to the doctor, I was already sick and, therefore, they won't give me the shot.

I fully recommend it.
GailSK
GailSK

Thanks! Now I feel better about it!
Allisonc79
Allisonc79

Hi there,

Absolutely not don't take any Emergen-C or Echinacea. You don't want to cause your disease to flare up. All your doing is working against the Plaquenil. The last thing you want to do is take something that strengthens your immune system. If your just on Plaquenil, you shouldn't have any trouble getting over colds. It does slightly dampen the immune system but not enough to where you are high risk. I have heard terrible stories about people that have taken those kinds of things and have gotten sick. It will really be no benefit for you. You can however just drink orange juice or the standard dose of vitamin C.
willows4u
willows4u

GailSK;
Do what your doctor feels is right for you!! We all respond differently and our doctor knows our full history.
I do not take the flu shot because I got it two years in a row and got violently ill from it. When I don't take it, I get a winter cold but nothing near what I got when I had the flu shot. I am on methotrexate and they recommend the flu shot but it seems contradictory to what the methotrexate is doing to suppress the immune system. I do make sure I have a lot of vitamin C intake in the winter months.
I also have to wonder how much immunizations are responsible for the increase in autoimmune diseases. The governement says no, but I started having symptoms of Lupus after getting my second Hep B shot for nursing school and have many co-workers that are being diagnosed with autoimmune conditions such as Lupus, MS, and Sjogren's. Makes you wonder why so many people in healthcare are being diagnosed.
Of course, I don't mean to scare anyone, and it is just my personal thoughts and beliefs on the increase in autoimmune conditions but immunizations are working against our already stressed out immune system.
Good luck to you!
deleted_user
deleted_user

When I first joined another Sjogren's list back in 1997, one of the folks ended up being hospitalized because of Echinacea. It can kick up your immune system, which actually makes Sjogren's worse. It took a week for her to get things straightened out. I would agree with AllisonC79 that you should avoid it.

On the flu shot, the SSF says to consult with your doctor. Mine said no since it has the swine flu as part of the regular shot, and I had a very severe reaction to swine flu vaccine in the 1970's. Your doctor has the best idea for your overall health. If he said to get it, then that was the right thing to do.

Hope you feel better soon!
GailSK
GailSK

Thanks, everyone. I did take the Emergen-C, but only a few times, and I did stay away from the Echinacea since I vaguely remembered hearing something negative about it. However, I still have this misery, and I've finally concluded it has become ANOTHER sinus infection--a condition I battled almost continually for years but one that I haven't had to deal with since a surgery (about 2 years ago) correcting a blockage in my sinus passage. Now I'm doing the saline rinse and saline nasal spray, taking Claritin (which I hate), and crossing my fingers that it goes away without antibiotics. I guess, since sinus infections are a part of the Sjogren's, I need to forget about completely leaving them behind.