Should You Take Tylenol Before Covid Vaccine

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Dr Fauci Says Some Tylenol After The Vaccine Should Be Ok

Should You Take Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen Before Getting The COVID Vaccine?

Aches and pains are a common side effect of the COVID vaccine. “If someone gets achy or gets a headache and it’s really bothering you, I mean, I would believe as a physician that I would have no trouble taking a couple of Tylenol for that,” he said. “So again, people are going to come back and forth and say, well, it could mute or dampen the immunological response to the vaccine itself. I don’t see any biological mechanisms why something like Tylenol would not do that.”

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There are plenty of similarities between COVID and the flu and how they present in patients, which is why a study that found that taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen did affect patients’ immune response to the flu vaccine is particularly noteworthy. One of the authors of the 2015 study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center, David J. Topham, PhD, advised in a statement that “unless your health care provider tells you otherwise, it’s best not to take pain relievers one or two days before the flu vaccine” because doing so “can dilute the power of the vaccine.” To see if you could currently have COVID, check out If This Part of Your Body Hurts, You Could Have COVID.

Should You Take Otc Medications Before Getting The Vaccine

Taking OTC pain medications ahead of your shot to try and decrease symptoms is not recommended by the CDC, because it’s not clear how that could affect the vaccine’s effectiveness.

The concern is that pre-treating with pain medications that reduce fevers and inflammation could dampen your immune system’s response to the vaccine.

That’s because your immune system responds to vaccines through a process called “controlled inflammation,” Dr. Colleen Kelley, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, told USA Today in January.

Covid messenger RNA vaccines work by giving cells genetic material that tells them how to make a non-infectious piece of the virus. The immune system then creates antibodies against it which is controlled inflammation and can remember how to trigger an immune response if exposed to the virus in the future.

But OTC pain-relieving medications “reduce the production of inflammatory mediators,” Kelley said. That’s why it’s important to wait until after you’ve gotten the vaccine to take pain medication.

Research on children has shown that those who take acetaminophen before getting vaccines have a lower immune response than those who didn’t. And a recent study out of Yale found that giving mice nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs before being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 led to fewer protective antibodies from the virus.

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If you’re already taking one of those medications for a health condition, you should not stop before you get the vaccine at least not without asking your doctor, said Jonathan Watanabe, a pharmacist at the University of California, Irvine.

People should not take a painkiller as a preventive measure before getting a vaccine unless a doctor has told them to, he said. The same goes for after a shot: If you dont need to take it, you shouldnt, Watanabe said.

If you do need one, acetaminophen is safer because it doesnt alter your immune response, he added.

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The CDC offers other tips, such as holding a cool, wet washcloth over the area of the shot and exercising that arm. For fever, drink lots of fluids and dress lightly.

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No alcohol 24hrs before and after taking COVID

Getting immunized can be a point of anxiety for both adults and children. Luckily, Hepfer gave some simple advice applicable to both adults and children to overcome the fear. She recommends distraction as well as talking with the child and preparing them for what to expect in advance. If a child is getting a shot, hold them in a comforting way or give them a toy or distraction item, Hepfer said. For older children, she recommends a game on your phone or listening to music. Do not underestimate the power of distraction.

This story was originally published on August 20, 2019 and has been updated for accuracy.

Mary Leigh Meyer

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Common Vaccine Side Effects Versus A Reaction To A Vaccine

Just like how most medications have side effects, vaccines also have varying levels of side effects, Hepfer said. For the most part, vaccine side effects are minor and temporary. Unless your health care provider recommends against a vaccine for you or your child for a health reason, the side effects are not big enough to warrant skipping a vaccine.

The most common side effects from a vaccination are pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. You or your children may also notice a mild fever as well as general soreness on the arm or leg of the injection.

There is a difference between a common side effect and an allergic reaction to a vaccination, Hepfer said. An allergic reaction may be a rash, difficulty breathing or even something more severe. If that happens, you need to contact your health care provider. However, an elevated temperature is generally nothing to be concerned about.

Hepfer notes an elevated temperature after a vaccination is actually a good thing. It means your immune response is working.

Q: What About Taking A Pain Reliever After The Shot

Its OK to treat side effects with a pain reliever, said Dr. Offit, but if you dont really need one, dont take it.

While most experts agree its safe to take a pain reliever to relieve discomfort after you get vaccinated, they advise against taking it after the shot as a preventive or if your symptoms are manageable without it. The concern with taking an unnecessary pain reliever is that it could blunt some of the effects of the vaccine.

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During the Moderna trial, about 26 percent of people took acetaminophen to relieve side effects, and the overall efficacy of the vaccine still was 94 percent.

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What Else Should You Do If You Have Side Effects After Getting The Covid

If youre feeling lousy after getting vaccinated but have no clue what to do when it comes to OTC meds, give your doctor a call, especially if you are pregnant or have an underlying health condition. Its a risk/benefit decision that is unique to each patient, says Alan. If someone has a fever of 104, it might be worth taking a dose of either acetaminophen or ibuprofen, she says.

If youre uncomfortable but feel like you can ride things out, Dr. Schaffner recommends drinking plenty of fluids, getting rest, and, if you have a fever, dressing in light clothes. If you feel soreness at the injection site, apply a cool, clean, wet washcloth to reduce swelling and try to move your arm gently to give it mild exercise, per the CDC.

Also, its not a bad idea to just take it easy the day after getting vaccinated. Dont get the shot and plan to go mountain climbing the next day, Dr. Watkins says. After all, these vaccines teach your body how to fight a totally foreign virus, and that requires a lot of energy.

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Does Acetaminophen Impact The Immune Response

Should You Take a Pain Reliever Before Your COVID Vaccine to Avoid Getting Symptoms?

Often, people elect to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, or give one to their children, prior to vaccines to help with the side effects. Remember a vaccination can cause injection site soreness and elevated temperature afterwards, Hepfer said. Acetaminophen can both relieve pain and reduce fever, but always speak with your pediatrician first to review dosage.

The discussion about acetaminophens impact on immunity comes with the fever-reducing effect. Typically, fevers are a sign your body is working to kill a virus. As a result, many people worry an over-the-counter drug that reduces fevers will impact how well your body fights the viral agents from a vaccine.

Hepfer said the jury is still out on this. While the administration of acetaminophen has been commonplace after childhood immunizations for fever and/or pain at the injection site, several newer studies question whether acetaminophen makes vaccines slightly less effective, Hepfer said. While acetaminophen is not contraindicated, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that some pediatricians are no longer recommending it for prophylactic use against vaccine side effects.

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Where To Go From Here

Mandates are not going away, according to those overseeing them.

While Los Angeles County has imposed among the most restrictive rules, they are not adverse to the idea of placing even stricter rules should the need arise.

We will continue to monitor the situation as we move into the winter months and hope no additional requirements will be needed, Davis said.

But, if they are, we county must use every available tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to continue to save lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe and protecting our economy from damage, he added.

That means, said Carpiano, society will have some adjusting to do.

No matter how optimal a policy is, its not going to be by everyone, he said. Thats reality.

Also reality, he said, is the fact that people are dying.

The fact is, we are in a major crisis, he said. COVID is the number three cause of death now and were not getting out of it easily. This is going to be our new reality. Thats the hard truth of it.

And while Carpiano feels for those like Susan, he said, he hopes people realize the power of greater good.

Even work mandates, Carpiano said, fit that greater good need.

Those who say is overstepping? I say it is showing employees that their health and safety is important. Isnt that why unions were formed? he said.

Jamie West, a resident of South Dakota who is waiting with hope on a religious exemption, told Healthline she sees this as a fight for freedom.

Medications That May Be In Question

Dr. Vyas recommends being very careful with steroids. If youre on steroids for a chronic condition, its fine to keep taking them. But if youre considering steroid injections, she suggests holding off until after youre vaccinated.

If youre on chronic steroids, Dr. Vyas says to continue to take them as needed. If you have any questions, talk to your healthcare provider. But if you have a choice of starting a steroid right before your COVID-19 vaccination, youll want to wait.

For instance, say youre considering a steroid injection in your back. Youll want to wait about two weeks after you get your COVID-19 vaccine before doing so. But again, you have to look at the risk and benefits. If you are in excruciating pain and you cant walk and you can be at risk for getting a blood clot if you dont walk then get the steroid injection, she says.

She also adds that with certain therapies, its good to talk to your healthcare provider about what you should do before your vaccination appointment.

Cancer therapies, immune suppression or if you have a rheumatologic disease and you need certain shots or injections every month, dont put those off. Talk to your provider about when it would be safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine because there are always exceptions to every rule.

Conditions that you should notify your vaccination provider about before getting a COVID-19 vaccine

The FDA recommends making your provider aware if you have any of the following conditions:

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Can I Take Ibuprofen Or Acetaminophen If My Arm Is Sore After Getting The Vaccine

If you develop soreness in your arm, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends holding a clean wet warm washcloth over the area or an ice pack. You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, if you are permitted to do so. It is not recommended to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen before your vaccine. If you regularly take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, you can continue to do so.

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The CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , and the Maternal Fetal Medicine Society all recommend COVID-19 vaccination to protect women and their unborn children. Recent studies show that the vaccines are safe and effective with no increased risk of pregnancy complications. TriHealth OB physicians feel strongly that the COVID-19 vaccine protects pregnant women and their unborn children. O.B. physicians want to engage in a dialogue and partner with pregnant women.

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Is It Safe To Take Otc Pain Relievers And Fever Reducers Like Tylenol Or Advil Before Getting The Covid

Theres still a lot experts dont know about COVID-19. Whether its safe to take pain relievers before receiving your vaccine is one of those many unanswered questions. As of right now, no studies have determined if acetaminophen and ibuprofen affect how well the COVID-19 vaccines work.

This question hasnt been researched much for any vaccination, not just the COVID-19 vaccines. Because of this uncertainty, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend avoiding pain relievers and fever reducers before getting any vaccine, not just the current COVID-19 ones. Think of it as erring on the side of caution.

The View From The Unvaccinated

Those choosing to remain unvaccinated say all these limitations can make a person feel isolated and singled out.

This is where we are headed, Ohio resident Renee Denton, who has no plans to get vaccinated, told Healthline.

Susan, who preferred not to use her full name due to the pushback shes received, works in the public health industry and decided not to get vaccinated, because she had a mild case of COVID-19 and feels she now has natural immunity.

Susan said these restrictions make unvaccinated people feel targeted as well as misunderstood.

Im not anti-vax. I just want to take it when I think I need it, Susan said.

She remembers watching with concern when President Biden announced the workplace vaccine requirements on national television last month.

I just feel like a target who is being bullied by someone who was to bring an end to this pandemic and protect me, she said.

Since she has small children and doesnt attend events outside her home often, Susan said shes not that concerned for now about restrictions. But she does project ahead and wonder.

I guess the one thing would be that I think some cultural institutions that I might want my kids to experience might not allow us in like orchestra hall, museums, theatrical productions, she said.

It also could mean changes in how they choose vacations.

For Denton, a big impact will be dining out, something she loves to do.

Eventually, she said, we could end up in a situation where we can never fly again.

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Where We Are With Vaccines

The CDC reports there have been more than 363 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered across the country.

More than 202 million people have received at least one dose. More than 171 million people are fully vaccinated.

That means that nearly 60.9 percent of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose. About 73 percent of the countrys adult population has received at least one dose.

California has administered the most doses, at more than 47 million. Thats followed by Texas with more than 29 million.

New York and Florida have both administered more than 24 million doses. Pennsylvania is fifth with nearly 15 million.

None of those states, however, is in the top five for percentage of the population thats received at least one dose:

States with the highest percentage of vaccination
1. Vermont: 76%

Is Acetaminophen Or Ibuprofen Better Post

You Ask. We Answer | Should I be concerned about taking Tylenol before COVID-19 vaccine?

When post-vaccine arm soreness hits, you may find yourself staring into the abyss of your medicine cabinet, wondering if it’s better to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. “Acetaminophen is not an anti-inflammatory, so itâs the one I would reach for first,” Dr. Bhuyan says. “But if you only have ibuprofen, that is fine to take, too.”

Different people respond differently to certain medications, too â so think about what tends to work well for your body and symptoms. “In some patients, acetaminophen seems to reduce pain from things like body aches better, while other patients feel like ibuprofen is more effective,” Dr. Bhuyan explains. So really, it just depends on you and what you’ve got in your medicine cabinet.

TL DR? “If you need it, take it,” Dr. Parikh says.


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Speaking To The Unvaccinated

Dr. Mary Tipton is on the front line of patient care. With a busy practice in Utah, she treats thousands of people. Her goal is for every one of her patients who dont have medical restrictions to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

But she feels restrictions are the wrong move.

The risk I see with running with mandates is they become even more in opposition, Tipton told Healthline. When you push something on someone like this, they push back. They think, I may as well take a stand, and they dig their heels in.

Tipton believes a personal one-on-one approach works best and can come from a trusted source, such as a medical professional.

She recently spoke with about 150 Air Force members. Many, she said, are upset at the notion that they may be forced to take the vaccine or lose their positions.

They are really good people and when you sit down with them, youll see theyve put great thought into this, she said.

They told her they feel the public sees them as ignorant, something that is hurtful and wrong in their point of view.

And soon, she said, theyll feel ostracized in the most visible way by losing their jobs.

Her hope? That more unvaccinated people find a chance to speak with someone they trust and weigh what they think with what they may learn.

Will it work? Tipton isnt sure. She noted that, should workplace vaccine requirements come to her area, she may lose employees over it.

I dont think this is a high yielding policy, she said.

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