Do you by chance know if it is a problem to get Hep B vaccination during treatment? My 3rd shot falls a few months into the treatment. I have done a lot of research on this and can't find a definitive answer. One option is to take the last shot right before I start but I am not sure if that is a good idea in terms of my immune system being engaged with the Hep B instead of the Interferon. Any ideas?
I wondered about this myself, but from what I heard from my study nurse I could get them anytime. On the other hand, I don't exactly put blind trust in her, so I decided to hold off on my vaccinations before and during treatment. I can't think of any substantiated reason why it would interfere, but considering all that's going on immunologically during treatment I just didn't want to mess with the gods (who were messing with me enough already). Also, some people can have bad reactions to the vaccine, which could shut down your treatment if they're severe enough. Interferon is an immunostimulant, and it might be possible for your ramped up immune system to overreact to the vaccine which is specifically supposed to provoke the production of hep A and/or B antibodies (which by definition requires an immune response). For that reason, it wouldn't surprise me if the interferon could increase the likelihood of an adverse reaction to the vaccine(s) in certain people. I don't have proof of that at all, nor am I doctor, but speaking for myself I thought the potential risk was not worth taking during treatment (especially considering how many problems I was dealing with already). I just avoided risk factors during treatment and simply followed up with the shots after treatment was completed.
My Doc. told me to get the vaccinations for HepA & B. I have done 2 shots during tx thus far. October will be my last one. I mean you can get hepA at a restaurant...many places. I have "No" high risk behavior to be exposed to HepB. Dr. said it could kill me if I did somehow get either. I took the shots. No big deal. I'd like to hear if from everybody who hasn't gotten them and why. Here we are all trying to save our lives. Why take a chance? I have not heard one reason not to....
Oh yeah forgot to tell you that the nurse that gave me my hep A/B vaccinations told me that the FDA has now approved a "condensed" vaccination schedule. the hep B vaccination is normally given once and then you come in a month later (or so) and get another, and then come in after 6 months (from 1st shot) and get the last one. But apparently recently the FDA declared that it was ok to get the second shot one week after the first, and then the 3rd shot 4 weeks after the first. That way all shots are completed within one month (I just finished up doing it this way). You could probably do that and hopefully it wouldn't fall within your treatment cycle. Or since you've already had two shots, you can simply pass on the third one and get whatever booster shots you need after treatment's completed. Two shots does give you at least partial immunity, it just might not last quite as long (normally lasts at least 10 years). Plus considering that your immune system is so ramped up during treatment, I would think it unlikely that either hep A or B would be able to get a foothold in your body should you be exposed to either one of them. Combine that with avoiding risk factors as best you can, and in my opinion the lack of the third shot during treatment is all but a total non-issue.
I don't think there is a problem getting Hep A/B shots during Tx, but it is good you asked. I only found a counter indication for smallpox vaccination while on interferon on the CDC website:
Is use of Interferon a contraindication to vaccination?
Yes, using Interferon is a contraindication for smallpox vaccination because it suppresses the immune system. The same rule should be applied to Interferon as is valid for the use of high-dose steroids, individuals would need to be completely off the drug for three months before vaccination. (Mar 13, 2003)
Nothing scientific, but I certainly wouldn't do a shot the day before starting treatment, nor would I take a shot until at least a month after you become non-detectible. Hopefully, you can schedule your three shots with that in mind. An alternative 'abbreviated' schedule to Mre's, is the one I'm on. Second shot 3-4 weeks after the first. Third shot
1-3 months after the second. My preference, if you haven't already taken your first shot, would be to hold off on your first shot until after you've become non-detectible, or even wait until after treatment. Can't see the rush for the vaccine unless you feel you're at risk for Hep A or B.
Forgot to add that I wouldn't wait any more than six months between shots 2 and 3. I'm told one of the reasons the antibodies don't take with peole is that they wait to long between shots 2 and 3, or that they forget shot 3. The latter is what I did a few years ago and now I'm taking the series all over again.
I had the condensed schedule for hep B,(before tx ) but it looks like I will have to get a double dose if this most recent test doesn't show immunity. Maybe I will wait and make sure that I am SVR at the year mark or at least 6 month mark.
Hey you guys, I've been reading the forum a bit this afternoon. I have a question I'm almost embarrassed to ask. I treated twice. Once for six months and then a year and a half. I live in a small New England town and was treated by the same gastro both times. It was never mentioned to me that I should have been examined by an ophthalmologist or that I should be vaccinated for hep a and b. Last week I was diagnosed with glaucoma and also the ophthalmologist was shocked to see that I have hundreds, and hundreds of micro aneurisms kinda things in both eyes. I'll go into Boston next week which is where I should have gone in the first place. I just didn't know anybody with hep c at the time I treated. Should I be vaccinated for hep a and b?
Let me see,,I had 2 shots at the doc that I thought I was tx with. I think it was Nov, Dec - then the 3rd shot in January at the office where I did tx. Right after that I started tx- the following week. When tested for antibodies, it was probably too soon to test the NP said and I think the numbers were low or something, but she did say I am not immune and that we would check again down the road. She forgot so I just had my PCP do it and I will find out I think next week or so.
I just had blood drawn for another PCR in between the next one that I am supposed to get. This will show post 8 week post. When I told my PCP that I felt fine during tx and still fine 4 weeks post, but after that I have had numbness in my hands, lip feet etc,he said have another one done so that it is not on my mind. So I had it done. I went to lab Corp though instead of my PCP doing it. He doesn't know anything about hep tests so he just wrote it in and I took it down to the Lab. I'm hoping that the numbness is just from the interferon leaving my body or something. I also had major hot flashes all of a sudden start at the same time as the numbness - just beyond 4 weeks post. My hemo did go down to 9.8 towards the end and then came back up to 10.0, maybe that has something to do with it all- who knows. I do feel alot better now. I have some numbness in my left hand right now- but nothing as bad as it was before. I was very very fortunate all through tx, so I guess I have to expect something. I just hope the monster isn't back. I do feel better mentally though for the last couple of days at least. I know I have said this alot, but I think the mental stuff is menopause - I really shouldn't blame tx.
On the HepB and A --- I have hep B vaccination. I had it prior to catching HCV. (How do I know... LOL! Because I had panels at that time... I was an EMT.) Anyhoo - my docs all of em - have advised a booster on HEPB in a few years (Or to get the series again basically) and they have all said I should get the HepA.
There was neither a push to get HepA or HepB during tx --- nor after --- it was a "you should consider getting this" and left at that.
Thanks. I just had a sudden rush of anxiety reading this thread and jeez, it seems there's been lots of hep b posts lately. Funny though, because I saw this doctor every month from the end of 2003 through August '06 and the vaccination was never, ever mentioned. Not the eye thing either. I s'pose with what I've learned here and elsewhere since, the micro aneurysms must have been triggered by the peg and infergen. It's odd though because it really hasn't drastically effected my vision. One eye helps the other so it was explained. The glaucoma, I'm not sure. I haven't read that the interferon has anything to do with that. The eye doctor was just shocked that I could have this at such a young age. (I thought he was adorable for thinking I was too young. ; ] Maybe it's hereditary, though I know of no one. My grandparents and extended family are mostly in Syria. If the meds don't work I guess there's some kind of laser surgery. I wouldn't have not tx ed even if I had known about this in advance. And so I don't have to run out and get the hep vaccinations, huh? Whew.... I've had it with doctors for a while. I just wanna have fun. ; ] Thanks Meki.
But I'll be honest - the HepB vaccines are really no big deal. Kind of like the Flu shot.
Since TX - I've had kind of a phobia about ANY other shot --- I think --- ok... how's this puppy gonna affect me... What's it gonna do to me --- how am I gonna feel?
But when I had the Hep B series - it was like the flu shot... Sore arm.. big freaking deal... LMAO - after TX - I probably could take elephant shots and not even notice... but I still have the "OMG" factor running in the back of my mind.
Here's the scoop. HepB has a vaccine... But... the vaccine ONLY works if you take it before exposure.
So - it's up to you. I wouldn't be freaked about it... but I would consider it.
I think the next time the HepB vaccination comes to the community that I will probably get it.. I'm in no rush.. And if HepA is at the same time - sure... why not.
I mean - I certainly would hate to get those diseases on top of having the HCV already jumping ship.
But it's entirely up to you.
Weird... about the glaucoma - never heard of TX doing that - however --- remember we're just guinea pigs in the big Pharmaceutical playpen. They don't have very much information on what does what yet on whom... But we're making the information for the future. And for future people who will get this virus. So consider us pioneers.
In 100 years - I hope that my great grandchildren will be able to take a vaccine for this stuff... and the vaccine will stop them from going through this...
Or there will be a pill that will genetically alter the HCV to something that can work better for our systems. (Mutate it into a fat burner - that would be cool! LOL - or into a special immunity defense... or instant coffee... LOL!)
You go and have fun. Remember everyone on this board came here because something was wrong. Everything you read if from someone who has a problem... (specifically with liver problems)... So don't forget that there are good times too... and that life does get to be normal... And sometimes --- not every creak and ache comes back to HCV... (LOL - but I try to remember - that life just is what it is --- and I'm going to move on and have fun with my body - my life and my mind!)
So you write - write lots and lots and lots... And enjoy what you're doing.
If you happen to come across a vaccine for HEP B - or you ask your docs where you can get it --- well - then go get it... No biggie either way (I'll place the caveat that yes... there might be some people some where --- some how -- and you could be one that has a negative reaction to the vaccine - but those are RARE, RARE, RARE...)
Live your life to the fullest - because it's the only life you've got. LOL!
Hugs again - and it is so good to know you're keeping a happy attitude... And next time - reach out and hug that doc... man - pass him around... Young... LOL! I like him!
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