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Vaccine not recommended for some patients

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illimae
illimae Member Posts: 5,622

Just sharing info I just received. I asked my MO at MD Anderson about the Covid vaccine and she had the pharmacist do some research and call me back. At this time the vaccine to not recommended for those who’ve had a severe reaction to taxol due to an ingredient believed to cause problems for some of us. I’m told this is in accordance with CDC guidelines on the subject. Taxol put me in the ER, so I just have to remain cautious until we have an alternative.

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  • NotAsCalmAsILook
    NotAsCalmAsILook Member Posts: 133
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    Following for more info. I had an allergic reaction to emend IV and to taxol. Both reactions were managed in the infusion roo.


    my oncologist had no reason to dissuade me from the vaccine when I asked ...

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    notascalmasilook, in my case the reactions were very severe and use was discontinued with both taxotere and taxol, this is presumably due to polyethylene glycol or polysorbate in the mix.

    Here’s what I found on the CDC website.

    image

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    Thanks, I think? I had a severe allergic reaction to taxotere. So bad the MO stopped any further chemo. I wasn’t in hospital, but think I should have been. Happened with one infusion. I’d that what you mean?

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    Yes, most severe reactions can cause dangerous anaphylaxis. With taxotere my BP dropped to 80/60, an oxygen drop to 88%, I had abdominal pain and a possible seizure. With taxol BP skyrocketed to 170/110, monster back pain, vomiting and a stay in the ER.

    This is not to scare anyone, just to inform. This is obviously important to us patients but hasn’t been mentioned much in media.

  • buttonsmachine
    buttonsmachine Member Posts: 339
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    Thanks for posting this, illimae. I am in the very bad reactions to Taxotere camp, too. I have not discussed whether to get the vaccine with my MO yet (the cancer has been keeping us busy lately, and that has been front and center) but this is definitely another aspect to discuss when the time comes.

  • NotAsCalmAsILook
    NotAsCalmAsILook Member Posts: 133
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    I wonder if the PEG (which I had heard of back when vaccines were first approved) is the same thing the Emend was mixed with which I reacted to,... they switched me to emend pills and I was fine. So it wasn’t the Emend itself.

    I’ll ask more specifically when I become eligible.

    Even with my medical conditions I won’t qualify for a bit longer.

  • trishyla
    trishyla Member Posts: 698
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    Thanks for the info, illamae. I didn't have a bad reaction to the taxanes, so I should be okay. But I did get a chuckle out of your comment that "your blood pressure dropped all the way down to 80 over 60". That's my normal blood pressure. I've gone as low as 70/52 and as high as 110/70 (but only when pregnant). 😁

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    My reaction started before I was out of the office, but didn’t know it then. I swelled up all over, eventually peeled skin from soles of feet to my very bald head. Lost every nail. Don’t ever want that to happen again.

    I have a call into MO.

    I wonder if this will be in the J&Jvaccine? And how to find out?

  • R_LIND_10
    R_LIND_10 Member Posts: 1
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    Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information.

  • DanniB
    DanniB Member Posts: 49
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    Just wanted to share personal experience - i had my first dose of Astrazeneca (im in UK) last Friday. I had a severe reaction to Taxol during chemo and am allergic to penicillin. When the administering dr was putting info on the system, as soon as he put these allergies in, a red warning came up saying that only Astrazeneca is suitable and Pfizer must not be used. Hope this helps a little. x

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    oh THANK YOU. I’m allergic to penicillin too!! Just got off the phone with pcp and MO, no answer yet. This information is a big help.

  • DanniB
    DanniB Member Posts: 49
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    You are welcome, it is anaphylactic shock reaction to penicillin for me in case it makes a difference.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    Danni, thank you for sharing that info, I appreciate it. I think only Pfizer and moderna are available in the US but I’m sure we’ll get something that works soon.

  • chemicalworld
    chemicalworld Member Posts: 48
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    Does this mean the typical allergic reaction i.e. breathing problems, hives, swelling etc, or other?

    I had a severe pain reaction to taxotere and had to take pretty heavy steroids to get it down, I also developed hand and foot syndrome which delayed one of my doses, although I did get three rounds. Lost all my fingernails and toenails etc. I was told that my first dose was too high for what I was supposed to get, FWIW.

    I'm also allergic to penicillin although I last had it when I was a very young child.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    Chemicalworld, I think symptoms like trouble breathing and hives would be an indication of anaphylaxis, which can be dangerous. I’d definitely discuss this with your oncologist. Some reactions may only warrant closer observation after the vaccine, others are recommended to wait for one without the concerning ingredients.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    My PCP finally called back, said I should get the shot. I’m so afraid of it, almost to tears. From the little I can find, it’s the polysorbate 80 that’s the problem for me.

    Then I started to settle. When I had that infusion, it was a lot of it. The shot is only a little bit. This 80 stuff is in a lot of products we use daily, with no problems. So maybe the shot would be same?

    I also think I’ll wait for the J&J to come, it’s only one shot.

    Thoughts?

  • DanniB
    DanniB Member Posts: 49
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    Spookiesmom - the way i calmed myself (and my other half) down when i went for it was by checking with the centre that they were prepared for a severe reaction with adrenalin, antihistamines and steroids etc - and they were. I didn't know at this point which vaccine i was going to get. I was monitored for about 15 min afterwards too and with my previous reactions, my throat closed within 30 seconds so i was comfortable it was appropriate.

    Illimae - thank you for posting the information in the first place, i read it just before getting a call and it was very helpful for me in asking the right questions at the centre.

    Danni x

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    I did check at a vax site. Was told I’d wait for 15 min after, pharmacist had EpiPen available. That’s not what my reaction was. Think Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Or an all body hand-foot reaction. I didn’t have trouble breathing

  • brittonkb
    brittonkb Member Posts: 81
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    My cancer center called me last week about the Taxol risk. I had an allergic reaction to Taxol but it was mild enough that I was able to complete 12 weekly infusions with doubled up steroids and benadryl. They requested that I don't get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines but to wait for the J&J vaccine which apparently doesn't contain the ingredient in Taxol. I'm only 49 so no idea when I'd even be eligible but wanted to share in case useful to anyone.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    I have no idea what the right decision is. I do think that those with more mild reactions would possibly be ok with the risk and allergy meds available.

    In my case, with the reaction so severe, I would need an ER available but I’m still going to wait for another option.

  • BevJen
    BevJen Member Posts: 2,341
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    Interesting read from the National Cancer Institute's newsletter regarding cancer patients and the Covid vaccine:

    https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents...


  • rosesinwinter
    rosesinwinter Member Posts: 7
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    I am a healthcare provider - a renal dietitian in dialysis, who was due for my second Moderna vaccination last Tuesday. I completed chemo in 2008 for stage 3 breast cancer. On my second chemo with Taxol, i had a severe anaphylactic reaction after only 4 drops were infused. I turned bright red, had back pain, my pulse ox dropped and my BP went up. I had large doses of i.v steroids and benedryl while I was still in the chemo unit and had an oxygen mask on for quite a while. Fortunately, they were able to change me to Abraxane which was Taxol carried by microalbumin particles, rather than by the polyethylene glycol (PEG) substance. I had no more issues - I was not allergic to the Taxol but rather to the carrier substance.

    I had my first Moderna vaccine 5 weeks ago now. Ten minutes later, in the observation area I had a mild feeling of my throat starting to close. I informed them and they observed me in the medics area for a while. My BP went higher than it ever has, 168/90. But I was okay. So I went back for the second shot. The advice had changed in the intervening 4 weeks and they would not allow me to get the second dose due to my history of PEG allergy. They recommended I ask my PCP - he refused to allow it. So now I am waiting for a vaccine that does not contain PEG. And it is important to know that PEG is used for many oral meds, like Miralax for constipation, but it is an entirely different situation when it is given intramuscularly or i.v..

  • denny10
    denny10 Member Posts: 421
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    I had a severe allergic reaction to taxol and now have Abraxane infusions. I never want to go through that experience again . Thanks for the information about PEG. I will be looking for it in any new medications.

    I had my first covid vaccination at the end of January, without side effects. It was Astrozeneca. I live in the UK.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    My PCP and MO are saying I should get the vax, that thee PEG is closely related to the polysorbate 80. And that there would be a very tiny amount of it in vax, compared to the taxotere bag.

    I have appointment Monday for vax. And scared to get it. But I will, and already know where the closest ER is.

  • illimae
    illimae Member Posts: 5,622
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    Spookiesmom, good planning with the nearby ER. I wish you and uneventful vaccine and if you don’t mind, I’d love an update on how you’re feeling after.

  • spookiesmom
    spookiesmom Member Posts: 8,178
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    I got to the vax site early, lots of traffic. Found out this wasn’t a drive thru site. Bummer. Was a line, but was efficient and moving. Showed my DL, that’s all they wanted. Stick!! Wait in here 30 min. An EMT was walking around asking if everyone felt ok. I did, and left. No problems. It was Phizer vax

  • chemicalworld
    chemicalworld Member Posts: 48
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    They are rolling out the AstraZenena vaccine in my province in the coming weeks. It'll be first come first serve, so who knows. Also age-based, not vulnerability based.

  • NotAsCalmAsILook
    NotAsCalmAsILook Member Posts: 133
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    I will be eligible to sign up for a vaccine this week. I contacted my MO to confirm that the allergic reactions I’ve had are not from the same substance causing reactions in the vaccines.

    They verified it is not the same.


    still a tad nervous because I’ve been dealing with lots of uncommon reactions and complications over the last year. But not nervous enough to stop me

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,404
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    Slightly different take here... I saw my MO today at MD Anderson and he told me not to get the vaccine at this point. I have upcoming scans, and apparently the vaccines can cause imaging issues, even creating false positives from swollen lymph nodes. So that was all I needed to hear.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,157
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    LW - your doc is on the ball. What I've read is that you're supposed to wait 6 weeks after a vaccine before scans to avoid imaging issues. Glad you're doing your scans first.