BACKGROUND: The use of potent immunosuppressant medications is becoming more common, particularly the use of biologicals for a range of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
OBJECTIVE: This article focuses on the implications of immunosuppressant medications for travel, including pre-travel vaccinations, minimising risks during travel and travelling with medicines.
DISCUSSION: Pre-travel risk assessment is essential to prepare for safe travel. Live vaccines are contraindicated in people with significant immunosuppression because of the higher risk of adverse events and vaccine-associated disease. Inactivated vaccines can be used but may be less effective. Assessing the degree of immunocompromise in patients taking immunosuppressants includes considering both the medications and the underlying conditions. An individualised approach, often involving expert input, is needed to provide pre-travel health advice and immunisation. Planning ahead for travel is needed to minimise risks.