(January, 1999)

Turned Down as Blood Donor Because of Tegison
from Jane J.

I have Type O-negative blood and really really wanted to donate yesterday during our town's blood drive. They are in dire need of Type O-negative.

When I finally got into the room where they prick your finger (or ear if you prefer) to test your blood and ask the hard questions, about the 7th question down the page was a word that caught my attention. It was "Have you ever taken something, something, something for psoriasis?" I immediately said what? And the question was repeated. "Have you ever taken Tegison or Soriatane for the treatment of psoriasis?" My answer was yes to Tegison but that it was at least 10 years ago.

I was promptly dismissed as a blood donor because by taking those drugs, my blood can cause birth defects if it is used in a transfusion. Apparently, if you take Tegison you can NEVER give blood.

I am still very upset. I don't recall my doctor letting me in on that little tidbit of information. And anyway as all psoriasis sufferers know the drug only worked for a little while. I write this to warn others.

Thanks for letting me vent. -Jane J.


Ed's Response: Jane, this is news to me. And DISTURBING news, too! I didn't have time to research this situation before making this update to FLAKE HQ, but I WILL do some research and report back next month. In the mean time, if any readers have had a similar experience, or insights, please e-mail me. Thanks for this item, Jane. I used to donate blood regularly—even after my psoriasis manifested—and though they asked about the P, I always answered "no" to questions about systemic medications, and this is probably why I was never turned down. If this is a universal truth—that you can't donate if you've taken Tegison—it is something we should be told before we agree to use the drug. -Ed

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