Systemic Corticosteroids; Corticotropin (ACTH)/Live Vaccines Interactions

This information is generalized and not intended as specific medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional before taking or discontinuing any drug or commencing any course of treatment.

Medical warning:

Serious. These medicines may interact and cause very harmful effects. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

How the interaction occurs:

Corticosteroids or corticotropin may prevent your body's immune system from responding correctly to the vaccine.

What might happen:

If you are taking large doses of corticosteroids or corticotropin, or have taken them in the previous 14 days, you may not develop disease immunity from the vaccine and/or the vaccine may cause you to develop the illness it was supposed to prevent.

What you should do about this interaction:

Let your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) know if you are taking corticosteroids or corticotropin or if you have taken them in the previous month before you receive your vaccination. If you are starting corticosteroids or corticotropin, let your healthcare professional know if you received a vaccine in the previous 4 weeks. Your healthcare professional may want to delay your treatment or vaccine, or repeat your vaccine.Your healthcare professionals may already be aware of this interaction and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.

  • 1.Kroger A Bahta L Long S Sanchez P. General Best Practice Guideline for Immunization. Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunzation Practices (ACIP). MMWR. Available at: recs.pdf February 10, 2023;1-197.
  • 2.Acthar Gel (repository corticotropin injection). Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals October, 2021.
  • 3.Aristospan (triamcinolone hexacetonide) US prescribing information. Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. June, 2014.
  • 4.Dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection Australian prescribing information. Mayne Pharma October 30, 2003.
  • 5.Emflaza (deflazacort) US prescribing information. Marathon Pharmaceuticals, LLC July, 2020.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.