Swine Flu + Methotrexate

jillcall
jillcall Member Posts: 4
Hi...I was hoping for some advice.
My 13 year old son has Crohns Disease and Juvenile Arthritis and is doing very well on weekly injections of Methotrexate.

My problem is that today he has bought home a letter from school stating that a student at his school has been diagnosed with Swine Flu.
Apparently the school will not be closing as the student caught Swine Flu from her sister who came back from Spain at the weekend.
The student has apparently not been at the school since coming in contact with her sister....so the school feels they are safe and it's business as usual.

The two girls with Swine Flu live just two streets away from us.
I can't seem to get a straight answer out of anyone as to just how worried I should be that my son has a lowered immune system and that I have been told that Tami Flu is not suitable for anyone on Methotrexate.

Should I even be sending him to school tomorrow...or letting him go out and play with the other kids in this street.

Help...Jill

Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jill

    I am a member of the forum but the helpline will answer your thread soon.

    I suppose it is common sense to be rather wary when taking meds that suppress the immune system but difficult to tell your son that. This means that he needs to be extra vigilant generally when it comes to hygiene, make sure that he washes his hands often with soap and water. Have an alcohol based hand cleaner nearby and use it after being with others. Avoid contact with someone who is sick. If he should start to feel sick with flu like symptoms, runny nose, cough, aches,and fever call your doctor and have him stay home from school. Avoid touching his mouth, nose or eyes, that is how germs are spread.

    Easier said than done I know.

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • jillcall
    jillcall Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi elnafinn,
    Thank you for the reply. We have the hygiene thing pretty much under control.
    Jesse is a very sensible 13 year old who has been through a lot and while he is doing so well now that he is on Methotrexate........he remembers the many times I had to carry him downstairs on my back and help him on and off the toilet...and does not want to go back to living like that.
    He does whatever he has to do to try and stay healthy....but as the weeks and months go by and more people contract Swine Flu.......it may not be enough.

    I probably didn't phrase my question very well. Bottom line is I want to know if the lowered immune system and the possibility that he may not be allowed Tami Flu, makes Swine Flu more life threatening to him than it is to the general public.

    Jill.
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jill,

    I am sorry you are in this situation and that Jesse has the 2 problems already. I am glad he is doing so well on the MTX and i think it might be an idea to phone the NHS Direct people as they will know the answer, or at least the recommendation. I hope you can find the answers as I think you are right and there will be more of it about before too long. Take care, Cris
  • Wonkylegs
    Wonkylegs Member Posts: 3,504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI,

    as a fellow Methotrexate user (gosh just re-read that .... makes us sound terrible doesn't it?!) I can really understand your concern. I did n't know about Tamiflu not being suitable, (however, it says on the web link I give later that people on immunosuppresant treatments CAN be given Tamiflu under medical supervision) but I must admit I have decided to worry when it all gets closer to me - sadly that time is now for you.

    I hear tonight that NHS direct are overloaded with queries, so you may be better looking on their web site for the up-to-date info. I have just had a quick look, and there is a lot of info here:
    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pandemic-flu/Pages/QA.aspx

    There is a section that deals with people on immunosuppresant drugs like MTX / Leflunomide etc

    hope that helps, but if not I would suggest ringing your GP in the morning and asking their advice, as that is what they are there for!
  • jillcall
    jillcall Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Wonkylegs,

    Thank you so much for the link....It was a huge help in that I was able to read that he can have Tami Flu under medical supervision. All I had been able to find out previously was that Tami Flu and Methotrexate should not be used together.

    I will try and get to talk to one of his doctors today. I spoke to a paediatric sister at the hospital we go to lyesterday evening and she suggested "as a parent" keeping him off school today until I could get more advice.

    And as he is limping from walking into a pole at school a couple of days ago...and would have to walk or get a taxi home tonight becaue I'm working...I have two reason to keep him off school.

    Whatever the doctors say today I am still going to want to wrap him in cotton wool and lock him indoors for the next few months. :roll: :roll:

    Jill
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,275
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    jillcall wrote:
    Hi Wonkylegs,

    Thank you so much for the link....It was a huge help in that I was able to read that he can have Tami Flu under medical supervision. All I had been able to find out previously was that Tami Flu and Methotrexate should not be used together.

    I will try and get to talk to one of his doctors today. I spoke to a paediatric sister at the hospital we go to lyesterday evening and she suggested "as a parent" keeping him off school today until I could get more advice.

    And as he is limping from walking into a pole at school a couple of days ago...and would have to walk or get a taxi home tonight becaue I'm working...I have two reason to keep him off school.

    Whatever the doctors say today I am still going to want to wrap him in cotton wool and lock him indoors for the next few months. :roll: :roll:

    Jill


    Dear Jill

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. I know that by now you will have probably contacted your doctor to speak to them about your concerns. I know that our forum members have been giving you lots of information but we also have a link to a website that looks at the issue of the safety of taking tamiflu when you are on methotrexate http://www.nelm.nhs.uk/en/NeLM-Area/Evidence/Medicines-Q--A/Use-of-oseltamivir-in-patients-taking-methotrexate/ that should be able to give you more information.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Best Wishes
    Dawn