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Complementary and Alternative Medicine - Cam

Search Health Information    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.


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 Exp Clin Res 1996;22:65-72.

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