Monday, August 28, 2017

Studies Reveal How Shingles Vaccine Should Be Used in Arthritis Patients

Kevin L. Winthrop Ann Wouters, Ernest Choy, Koshika Soma, Jennifer Hodge, Chudy Nduaka, Pinaki Biswas, Elie Needle, Sherry Passador, Christopher Mojcik, and William Rigby. Arthritis & Rheumatology; Published Online: August 28, 2017(DOI: 10.1002/art.40187).

New research indicates that the live varicella-zoster vaccine—which is given to protect against shingles—elicits robust immune responses in patients when administered several weeks prior to the start of treatment with the arthritis drug tofacitinib. The Arthritis & Rheumatology findings are encouraging because patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher risk of developing shingles than other adults, and tofacitinib and certain other disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are thought to further increase this risk. Importantly, however, the virus should not be given to patients who have not had the chicken pox in the past.

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