ZocdocAnswersCan I get a flu shot if I am coming off Dexamethasone?

Question

Can I get a flu shot if I am coming off Dexamethasone?

I just finished up taking a round of Dexamethasone. Can I get a flu shot or do I have to wait a while? I know you shouldn't get one while you are on Dexamethasone but how long should I wait before getting a flu shot?

Answer

You will need to talk with your primary care doctor or the doctor who is giving you the dexamethasone to get a final and definitive answer, because the answer will depend in part on what your medical problems are for which you are taking dexamethasone. In general, it is safe and advisable to get the flu shot even when you are on steroids like dexamethasone. In fact, since people who take steroids often are at higher risk of getting a serious case of the flu, the shot is more important in them then it would be in others. There are some caveats, however. For example, if you are on very high doses of steroids, then your immune system might be so suppressed that you might not mount an effective response to the shot and it would be a waste of time. However, this is not the case on lower doses of steroids. Furthermore, if you are on chronic steroids or other immune suppressing medications, then you should avoid the flu vaccine spray, which is a live virus vaccine; however, the killed virus vaccine, which is a shot, should be just fine. Talk to your doctors to find out whether the flu shot is right for you at this time.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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