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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have previously developed severe Bells Palsy after flu Jab so my GP advised me never to take it again.

I am about to start a course of Humira (1 x 40mg twice 2 weeks apart)because of Immune issues- I am not in a high risk group for flu due to medical problems (previously taken on occ health advise as I work in healthcare) but I am now wandering if I would be at higher risk from Flu because of Humira and if there are any safe alternatives to flu jabs if you have had previous Bells Palsy.

I was sort of presuming that the Humira is aiming to get my immune system to normal levels as  it is high so I wouldn't be immune suppressed but then again should I go on to get pregnant I would then be classed as needing flu jab.

I know I probably need to balance the risk profile of bells palsy vs flu and bells palsy is not life threatening but it threatened my eyesight  due to complications when I had it and I was in so much pain that even high doses of DF118 didn't touch sides so I definietely don't want a repeat peformance during IVF cycle or pregnancy when I can't take strong pain killers.

Do you know what the current thinking is on bells palsy reaction to flu jab- I know that when this happened to me my GP yellow carded it and said she didn't think it was a known reaction but the thinking has changed since?

Happy new year by the way!
 

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I have been mulling over your question and I don't think it is one I can give a clear answer to.

The Humira will reduce your immunity, increasing the risk from infection.

The Bells palsy risk should be discussed with a doctor who knows your history - from the literature there are a number of case reports associated time wise with the flu vaccine.
Your doctor should perhaps discuss your risks with a virologist in combination with a neurologist to make a full risk/benefit assessment.

If you are not vaccinated against the flu, then you risk catching a severe bout of it, and being exposed to the virus anyway, and as you know it can be dangerous in pregnancy - so if you are not vaccinated you need to take every precaution not to catch it, by reducing unnecessary travel and crowded places and use good hand hygiene. Difficult to avoid it if you work in healthcare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your thoughts on it- I know its not a straight forward one.

I saw my GP today she was under the opinion that flu jab was worth avoiding purely on the basis I was lucky enough to recover from bells palsy  last time and I might not be as lucky next time as not everyone gets better. She raised a good point that I probably had a pretty good natural immunity to flu as I had previously had jabs and get exposed to a bucket load of it- I know certainly last year I saw my fair share of H1N1s.

She actually said lets concentrate on getting you pregnant first which is the most important thing. The humira is now on my medical record even though its not pescribed by them and said the best way to manage it would be to get in earlier with anti virals if I get ill with flu like symptoms than they otherwise would.

Now I have to decide whether to hold off the humira for a few days because of a slight tickle in the throat! I will probably be a bit more cautious over the next month about infectious people- online shopping I think!!

thanks again.
 
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