According to experts, avoid taking painkillers just before vaccination with COVID-19.
Headache, fever, body aches, chills.
These are perfectly normal side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, a good sign that the immune system is functioning, but they can be unpleasant.
To minimize discomfort, some Americans may look to painkillers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Others are worried that these drugs may slow down the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Studies on this subject are sparse and inconsistent, but both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend opposition to the prophylactic use of analgesics.However, please allow it if symptoms appear later.
In a peer-reviewed Journal of Virology, researchers found that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen reduce antibody production and affect other aspects of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. I found that it could give. Causes COVID-19.
Researchers said the results of this study increased the likelihood that painkillers such as ibuprofen would alter the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Colleen Kelly, an associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine, who is not involved in this study, speculates that this may be caused by reducing the inflammation caused by the immune system.
“The immune system produces a response through controlled inflammation. (Analgesics) can reduce the production of inflammatory mediators,” she said. “Therefore, when taking these drugs, this is a potential mechanism of reduced immune response to vaccination.”
However, Dr. Marian Michaels, a member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Board at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said studies have shown that the immune system responds differently to the COVID-19 vaccine than spontaneous infections. I am.
“We believe that the (immune) response to the vaccine is actually a better response than the wild-type virus with COVID-19,” said Michaels, a pediatric infectious disease physician at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I am. “Therefore, even those who have been infected in the past … I recommend vaccination.”
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A 2016 study at Duke University examined the effectiveness of various vaccines in children, and those who took painkillers before taking regular scheduled shots had more antibodies than those who did not. I found that there were few.
However, some studies on painkillers and vaccines are not robust enough to draw conclusions, experts say. Children in a 2016 study who took painkillers and showed low levels of antibodies still had enough immune response to provide protection.
Kelly has no data showing that taking the drug after vaccination to treat side effects reduces the immune response.
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“If you feel sick after vaccination, it’s perfectly fine to take NSAIDs or Tylenol,” Kelly said. “The symptoms you are experiencing indicate that your immune system is functioning normally and that your immune response is underway.”
Michaels states that study participants were not banned from taking painkillers in either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 trials, with efficacy rates still exceeding 95%.
“I don’t know the exact number of people in the study, but I’m sure many took acetaminophen or ibuprofen because 70% were mild (a side effect of the vaccine),” she said. .. “Still, there was still an immune response.”
Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY was partially made possible by grants from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition for Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.
It is okay to take Tylenol and Advil for side effects after the shot
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