Chickenpox and MTX

illihor
illihor Member Posts: 283
edited 5. May 2010, 10:56 in My Child Has Arthritis
My eldest 3 which includes my 4 year old with JIA have all had chickenpox which is a great. They all had it before my last child was born. She's now 18 months and my friend was over yesterday and her baby had chickenpox. I thought I was doing good by letting her mix with chickenpox to get it "over and done with" if you get me. Let them share cups etc.

Now speaking with a couple of people today, including one who's in the last year of training to be a gp they have said it might not have been a good idea as even though Kayleigh has had chickenpox she's now on mtx an immuno suppresant and could potentially get chickenpox possibly even shingles. omg I never knew this and now I feel soo guilty and worried about what's going to happen.

Obviously I can't protect her as even if someone at nursery has it (like before spots come up as your contagious up to 10 days before that) then it can't be helped but to knowingly and willingly try and get chickenpox into this house has upset me. I know for the baby it's best she get it aswell as she's a girl in a no win situation here but has anyone else heard of this? I'm thinking of ringing up the rheumy nurse and asking.

Michelle xxx

Comments

  • scattered
    scattered Member Posts: 326
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your GP friend is absolutely right regarding MTX and chicken pox, but what's done is done and you weren't to know. People on MTX should be kept away from those with chicken pox because of it's an immunosupressant and makes them more vulnerable to catching it and it turning into shingles, regardless of having had it previously. That said, you don't know what is going to happen with Kayleigh and it may be that she is absoluterly fine.

    It might be worth ringing the rheumy nurse to ask what you do if she does get it, just as a precaution. Try not to beat yourself up over it.
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was worried about the whole chicken pox thing as my son is a toddler who hadn't yet had CP and is at nursery and I was not only on MTX but also on steroids and I was told that the if I got chicken pox I could become very very ill even possible end up in hospital :shock:
    I have had chicken pox before (i've had it 5 times) but I have never developed an immunity to it (this is rare) and due to the immuno suppressants I was told this could be a serious problem.
    My health visitor therefore suggested that I get Ben immunised against CP which would lessen the chances of me coming in contact with it as he shouldn't get it now. The CP vaccine isn't widely available here (although it is widely used in other countries) but you can get it privately or if you have a good reason and a sympathetic GP you should be able to get it on the NHS - we did and so far we seem to have dodged the bullet even though there have been 2 big outbreaks at nursery
    hope that helps
    Chrissie
  • illihor
    illihor Member Posts: 283
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both. She has her MTX this morning so will chat with the nurse that comes out to do it. Also will wait and see if Stephanie actually does get chickenpox from this exposure if she doesn't I'll make an appointment with gp and try and get her vaccinated.

    Kayleigh had it pretty bad when she did get it but she was 18 months at the time and now 4 1/2 and been on MTX for almost 5 months now. In a way I so hope she doesn't get it now even though 2 days ago I was wishing her to get it. I just feel so guilty now.
  • lucymum
    lucymum Member Posts: 113
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi hun kayleigh should have had a blood screen done before she started the mxt to see what she was immune to, i know lucy did, and it would have shown if she was immune to chicken pox.
    If she has the immunity then there is no need to worry as her body can fight it on it's own! Our kids immune systems are usually hyper hight, meaning they have more than the normal kid, which causes the JIA, the immuno suppresent is just trying to get it to a NORMAL level!!!!
    If you are worried then ring the nurse at the hospital, i know mine are on hand whenever i need them and they are amazing!!!!
    i hope she is ok, and your little one does not get the chicken pox too bad!!
  • andylambs
    andylambs Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    She won't get shingles. Shingles lies dormant in your body after having had chickenpox; associating with people who have chickenpox will actually lower your chances of getting shingles as it boosts your own immunity.

    However, if having CP previously has not even her a huge antibody stash against CP then it is possible she could get CP again. This is very rare but it has happened.

    You should check with your rheumy what to do right now.

    I'm wary of saying too much as I don't know what the standard procedure is in the UK versus the USA. But asking the rheumy can't hurt. When my younger daughter (not JIA) had suspected CP they were prepared to put both her and her sister on an anti-viral to combat the effects of the MTX.

    In the USA the advcie is do NOT get the CP vaccine for anyone on an immunosuppressant - MTX or other DMARDs - the CP vaccine is an attenuated live vaccine and you'll be injecting them with the very disease you want them to avoid. All immunosuppressed people should avoid attenuated live vaccines. In fact, the rheumy here has advised against giving live vaccines to anyone else in the family too.

    I know from experience that doctors don't always check this. Our PCP (American GP) knows my daughter's medical history and was about to order a CP vaccine until I asked "But isn't that a live vaccine?"

    I've seen a list of vaccines types somewhere on the internet, that tells you which are live and which are not. I'll try to find it and post it.
  • andylambs
    andylambs Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Typical! I can't find the nice chart that I remember with all the various vaccines listed by type. Maybe I hallucinated it!

    All this is American, I have no idea if the NHS advice is the same.

    Anyway I did find this:
    http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,4866,00.html

    And also this, which has a link to "Who should not be vaccinated" for each vaccine type:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/vaccines-list.htm

    I'm off to trawl the internet to find the NHS advice if it's out there. I can already tell I'm going to get no work done this morning...
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Andylambs I wasn't suggesting vaccinating the child on immuno-suppresants but the other child so that she doesn't get it and pass it on to her sister
    For example my son was vaccinated so that he did not pass it on to me
    sorry if that was confusing
    Chrissie
  • andylambs
    andylambs Member Posts: 71
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah, got it. Call me an idjit :-)

    Our younger daughter has not been immunised against CP for that very reason though. She'd be bringing the live virus into a house with an immunosuppressed child.

    Have a good weekend everyone,
    Andy
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    andylambs wrote:
    Ah, got it. Call me an idjit :-)

    Our younger daughter has not been immunised against CP for that very reason though. She'd be bringing the live virus into a house with an immunosuppressed child.

    Have a good weekend everyone,
    Andy

    I was worried about this so spent a long time checking it out and apparently its a lot lot less of a risk than them actually catching CP normally so much so that its not worth worrying about
    - I'm good at getting the right type of reassurance for these things hubby is a dr & medical politician and it seems half the medical profession round here knows him and owes him , so i'm confident when they tell me stuff like this and i can always double check it with him LOL
    If you are still worried but would still like some control over the situation perhaps the child being immunised could have it done and have a treat of a weekend staying with granny which would also keep them away from the immunocompromised child - just a suggestion.
  • illihor
    illihor Member Posts: 283
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you everyone for you replies. I'll have to wait and see what happens really, as it's to late if the baby has it as she'll be contageous (sp?) by now and I'm not about to have either away for 10 days just in case the baby has it. If Kayleigh does start to complain of being unwell/spotty etc she'll be straight down dr's and I won't be leaving till I'm satisfied she's ok if you get me.

    The rhuemy nurse said it was very very rare to catch it again even on mtx so hopefully (fingers crossed) she'll be ok, the baby will get pox and i'll never have to go through this stress again.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Michelle,

    How is Kayleigh? Hope she doesn't catch it! I work in a nursery school and I'm a bit worried about catching chicken pox again, even though I've had it. Does anyone know if MTX means I have a higher risk of catching shingles off someone with chicken pox?

    Sophie x
  • illihor
    illihor Member Posts: 283
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    She's doing ok at the moment thankfully and still no signs from youngest but then still another week to go yet. I'm not sure as I hear conflicting reports of when/how you can catch this. I think try not and stress to much about it all and see what happens.
  • steph120786
    steph120786 Member Posts: 66
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hiya

    Dont panic although i did!!

    There where chicken pocs going round kaitlins nursery but wasnt worried as she has had both chicken pocs and the pre mtx bloods to ensure she had them, but what i thought to be a allergic reaction was acctually shingles picked up from other peoples chicken pocs at nursery.

    She wasnt unwell a little irritated by it and sore but the only disruption it caused was not being allowed into nursery.

    hope this reassures you a little
    Steph