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    Influenza Virus Vaccine

    Topic Contents

    Influenza Virus Vaccine

    Drug Information

    The influenza vaccine is given by injection to help prevent influenza (flu), particularly in people with compromised immune systems. The vaccine is altered yearly to correspond to mutations in the flu virus.

    Common brand names:

    Afluria, Fluarix, Fluvirin, Fluzone

    Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

    Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

    Replenish Depleted Nutrients

    • none

    Reduce Side Effects

    • Eleuthero

      Some Russian studies suggest that eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) may reduce the risk of postvaccination reactions.1

      The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

    Support Medicine

    • Asian Ginseng

      In a randomized, double-blind study, 227 people received influenza vaccine plus 100 mg of standardized extract of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) or placebo two times per day for four weeks before and eight weeks after influenza vaccination.2 Compared with placebo, Asian ginseng extract was reported to prevent colds and flu, improve immune cell activity, and increase antibody levels after vaccination.

      The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

    Reduces Effectiveness

    • none

    Potential Negative Interaction

    • none

    Explanation Required 

    • none

    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers' package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

    References

    1. Zykov MP, Protasova SF. Prospects of immunostimulating vaccination against influenza including the use of Eleutherococcus and other preparations of plants. In New Data on Eleutherococcus: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Eleutherococcus, Moscow, 1984, 164-9.

    2. Scaglione F, Cattaneo G, Alessandria M, Cogo R. Efficacy and safety of the standardized ginseng extract G 115 for potentiating vaccination against common cold and/or influenza syndrome. Drugs Exptl Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

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