G6PD deficiency affects the body's ability to produce an enzyme essential for red blood cell function.
Vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system and protect against infectious diseases.
For G6PD-deficient individuals, a common question is whether they should avoid any particular vaccination.
In this article, we aim to answer this question in detail.
What Is G6PD Deficiency?
G6PD deficiency disorder is a hereditary blood disorder.
It occurs when the body does not produce enough glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme.
As a result, red blood cells are destroyed earlier than their expected lifespan.
This premature death of RBCs causes hemolytic anemia.
It can also cause other symptoms like jaundice and shortness of breath.
Avoiding certain foods and medications might make this condition more manageable.
Symptoms of G6PD Deficiency
G6PD deficiency can manifest in various ways:
- Paleness: This is a classic symptom associated with anemia.
In dark-skinned people, paleness might not be very evident.
But it can manifest around the mouth and lips, indicating the presence of this condition.
- Extreme tiredness and dizziness: When low RBCs in the blood, muscle tissues, and organs are deprived of oxygen.
It might make a person feel extremely tired most of the time.
However, nausea and dizziness also indicate lowered oxygen supply in the body.
- Enlarged spleen: Spleen is also called “the graveyard of RBCs.”
The spleen’s function is to remove dead RBCs from the bloodstream.
When RBCs are getting destroyed at an abnormally high rate, the spleen is overloaded and can become enlarged.
- Dark urine: When RBCs are broken down in excess, it might cause dark-colored urine.
It might be either due to the presence of RBCs in the urine or excess bilirubin resulting from hemolytic anemia.
Is G6PD Deficiency Inherited From The Mother Or Father?
G6PD deficiency disorder can be inherited from either one or both parents.
Men who have the defective gene causing this disorder show symptoms.
Women can become carriers of this disorder if they inherit the faulty gene.
If either or both parents pass this gene to their son, he will likely suffer from the disorder.
However, if they pass it on to their daughter, she will likely become a carrier of this disease.
G6PD Deficiency and Vaccines
Vaccines can immunize G6PD-deficient patients against several microbes.
They can be safely administered without the additional need to monitor the patient.
G6PD Deficiency and COVID-19 Vaccines
G6PD-deficient individuals are more susceptible to coronavirus infection.
They can have an altered immune response to viral infections.
People living with G6PD deficiency can be safely administered Covid-19 vaccines.
Clinical trials and research have shown that vaccines do not fall under G6PD deficiency medications to avoid.
There are no specific vaccine brands to choose from if someone suffers from G6PD deficiency.
Should G6PD-Deficient People Avoid Any Particular Vaccination?
Research hasn’t identified any vaccines as medication to be avoided. So, people deficient in G6PD can go ahead with recommended vaccinations.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The content of this article should not be taken as medical advice. Consult a qualified practitioner for any advice regarding G6PD deficiency.
G6PD Deficiency: 5 Things To Avoid
Most people with G6PD symptoms can lead healthy lives if they avoid certain foods and medications.
They can cause a faster breakdown of red blood cells in the body, which can be dangerous for people with this condition.
Here is a G6PD allergy list to avoid:
- Antibiotics: Many antibiotics can trigger RBC breakdown in a G6PD deficiency patient.
Some G6PD deficiency antibiotics to avoid are sulfa drugs, like Bactrim and Septra.
They are commonly used to treat Urinary Tract Infections or skin infections.
Quinolone antibiotics like Cipro and levofloxacin used to treat pneumonia should also be avoided.
Other common drugs like Nitrofurantoin and dapsone should also be avoided.
- Malaria medications: Primaquine, a drug long used to treat malaria, can cause a hemolytic crisis in G6PD deficient patients.
Thus, testing the patient for G6PD deficiency before administering this drug is recommended.
G6PD-deficient patients can, however, tolerate many other malaria medications.
- Cancer treatment medications: Rasburicase treats complications arising from blood cancers like leukemia.
However, it can also cause a hemolytic crisis in the body.
Therefore, a patient should constantly undergo screening before administering this drug.
- Aspirin: It is a common medication used to treat pain and inflammation.
However, it can cause an allergy in patients with G6PD deficiency.
Common over-the-crowd drugs like Pepto-Bismol and Ecodrin also contain this drug.
G6PD-deficient patients can instead use Ibuprofen as a pain medication.
- Mothballs: Mothballs contain a chemical called naphthalene.
This chemical can trigger hemolysis in the body when inhaled or ingested.
G6PD Deficiency and Allergies
The above list can be used as a G6PD allergy list.
Additionally, here are a few other things that can trigger a reaction in the body for G6PD deficient patients.
- Fava Beans: They can trigger a severe reaction in G6PD deficient patients.
Favism is another name for G6PD deficiency.
Other legumes like lentils and peanuts can also potentially cause allergies.
- Henna is often used to dye hair and for temporary tattoos, especially in South Asia.
However, it can cause a severe allergic reaction in G6PD-deficient patients.
Can G6PD Deficient People Drink Coffee?
Caffeine in coffee can interfere with and inhibit G6PD secretion in the body.
In addition, caffeine competitively inhibits G6PD’s binding ability with its coenzyme, NADP.
It can cause a hemolytic crisis (large numbers of blood cells are destroyed quickly) in the body.
So, for G6PD-deficient people, it is better to avoid coffee.
Summary: G6PD Deficiency and Vaccines
G6PD deficiency is a hereditary disorder that usually affects men.
Due to the under-secretion of G6PD in the body, the person can suffer from hemolytic anemia.
This condition can be managed by avoiding certain foods and common medications.
No vaccination has proven to be dangerous for those with G6PD deficiency.
These include coffee, fava beans, and antibiotics used to treat UTIs.