Check the effects of your meds.

If you get a new prescription, ask your doctor whether it might effect your immune system negatively, and if so, what protective steps you should take. Corticosteroids and opioid painkillers are among the drugs that can have a weakening effect on your immune system.

Use antibiotics wisely.

Some types of antibiotics can temporarily suppress bone marrow, where your immune system’s infection fighting white blood cells are produced. That can make you vulnerable to infection. And antibiotic overuse helps create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which make it more difficult for your immune system to fight bacterial infections, says John  Santa, M.D., a medical advisor to Consumer Reports.

Take precautions if you use immune suppressants.

Those drugs prescribed for conditions such as Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis, can interfere significantly with the immune system, so people taking them are at high risk for infections. In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, and good sleep habits, make sure you get only inactive (or killed) vaccines, not live ones, and wash your hands several times each day. “And such patients shouldn’t go near anyone with a skin or respiratory infection,” Lipman stresses.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health  January 2016 Marvin M. Lipman, M.D. chief medical advisor to Consumer Reports