As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, researchers are studying ways to improve the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
In a recent clinical trial
researchers investigated the effect of a two-week interruption in methotrexate treatment on the COVID-19 booster vaccine immunity in adults with inflammatory diseases.
Covid-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by a pathogen known as the coronavirus. It has affected millions of people worldwide, especially the elderly, weak, and diseased individuals. Several vaccines have been developed to protect the public from contracting this disease however; many drugs negatively affect the immunity provided by these vaccines.
Methotrexate is a commonly used medication for the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. However, it is known to suppress the immune system, which may affect the response to the COVID-19 vaccine.
A clinical trial was conducted to understand the effect of stopping methotrexate on the immunity provided by covid-19 vaccine boosters.
The study, called the VROOM study, was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. It involved 254 participants who were taking at least 25 mg per week of methotrexate treatment for inflammatory disease. These participants were divided into two groups. One group was assigned to continue taking methotrexate while the other group was instructed to interrupt their treatment for two weeks after receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccine. 4 weeks later, blood tests were carried out to measure the covid-19 antibody levels.
The results of the clinical study showed that the participants who interrupted their methotrexate treatment had a significantly better response to the COVID-19 booster vaccine compared to those who continued taking the medication.
Specifically, the interruption of methotrexate treatment led to higher levels of antibodies against COVID-19 (22750 U/ml) compared to the patients who continued taking methotrexate (10798 U/ml).
These findings have important implications for individuals with inflammatory conditions who are taking methotrexate and need to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine. The results suggest that interrupting methotrexate treatment for two weeks after the vaccine may improve the immune response to the vaccine.
In conclusion, the VROOM clinical trial provides evidence that interrupting methotrexate treatment for two weeks can improve the immune response to the COVID-19 booster vaccine in adults with inflammatory conditions. These findings have important implications for the management of inflammatory conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic as they highlight the interaction between immunosuppressive medications and COVID-19 vaccines.
It is important to discuss any changes in medication with a healthcare professional, as interrupting methotrexate treatment may have other health consequences.