3 years ago

Safety of herpes zoster vaccination among inflammatory bowel disease patients being treated with anti-TNF medications

J. D. Lewis, Y. Shah, C. Trivedi, N. Khan
Background The risk of herpes zoster (HZ) is elevated in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients treated with anti-TNF medications. While it is optimal to give herpes zoster vaccine prior to initiation of therapy clinical circumstances may not always allow this. Aim To determine the safety of giving herpes zoster vaccine while patients are on anti-TNF therapy. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study involving IBD patients who were followed in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system between 2001 and 2016. Patients who received herpes zoster vaccine while on anti-TNF medication were identified through vaccination codes and confirmed through individual chart review. Our outcome of interest was development of HZ between 0 and 42 days after herpes zoster vaccine administration. Results Fifty-six thousand four hundred and seventeen patients with IBD were followed in the VA healthcare system. A total of 59 individuals were on anti-TNF medication when they were given herpes zoster vaccine, and amongst them, 12 (20%) were also taking a thiopurine. Median age at the time of herpes zoster vaccine was 64.9 years and 95% of patients had a Charlson Comorbidity Index of ≥2. Median number of encounters within 42 days after receiving herpes zoster vaccine was two. No case of HZ was found within 0-42 days of HZV administration. Conclusion Our data suggest that co-administering the herpes zoster vaccine to patients who are taking anti-TNF medications is relatively safe. This study significantly expands the evidence supporting the use of herpes zoster vaccine in this population, having included an elderly group of patients with a high Charlson Comorbidity Index who are likely at a much higher risk of developing HZ.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/apt.14257

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