Finished steroids Thursday then flu

Hi. I finished my four week taper of steroids on Thursday morning and have just had a nasty kind of flu even though I’ve had the flu jab, and do every year. My son had the same thing (not an MSer, and also had the flu jab). My poor husband is next in the firing line!

I’ve read that the difference between flu and a cold is that if you have flu and someone drops a £20 note on the ground and you feel too ill to pick it up, then that’s flu, not a cold! Well,that would have been me during the night - even if it were five £20 notes - but oddly enough I do feel a little bit better now.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?


Hi Louise

What you have to remember is that steroids wipe out your immune system which means that if you catch a cold, the symptoms will be much worse than you’d get with the same virus normally. So what you have is probably not flu, but a very nasty cold. Having a cold is bad enough normally, many people this year have said that ‘a cold’ just doesn’t sound bad enough considering how ill they’re feeling. Like death might occur.

But you (probably) will survive it.

It’s just a bloody horrible time.

I hope you get much better soon.


Thanks so much for that, Sue. It makes sense. The expression ‘like death warmed up’ has been very appropriate over the past two days!

I now have a dreadful ‘death rattle’ cough when I lie down, hence my posting this in the middle of the night!

Wish I’d never had that course of steroids…


its probably this awful virus with a hacking cough that most of the country seems to have and having a flu jab only protects you from the flu you will still catch colds and viruses that are going round i have only had proper flu twice in my life but i still get plenty of colds and viruses.

Yes, mrsJ, you’re probably right. But I’ve had proper flu twice in my life - and this was really up there with that. I’ve been having flu jabs for about 40 years (unbelievable I know) and I always figure that if they diminish the effects of the flu/whatever then they’re worth having.

Odd how it’s made my MS symptoms somewhat worse though I understand that a cold or a virus can do that. Still learning about MS…Feeling slightly better today though the cough is horrible. Can’t take to my bed forever!


Take to your bed for just as long as you feel the need Lou. Don’t feel guilty. It’s bad enough having MS, then having taken a reasonably long course of steroids and to top it off a cold that makes you wonder if you’ll last the week …


Blimey, looks like flu, feels like flu, so maybe it is flu? Just had to go back to bed for an hour as suddenly felt freezing cold and ill.

Yet another reason for me never to have steroids again, I think!


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From what I know, steroids damage your immune system. So it is evident that you will catch the flu when you are using steroids.