Skip Taking a Pain Reliever Before Your COVID Shot, Experts Advise
There is a theory that taking over-the-counter pain relievers before getting your COVID-vaccine may interfere with its effectiveness.
Popping a few ibuprofen or acetaminophen tablets before getting a needle in your arm sounds like wise idea. It's something I personally do before getting an eyebrow wax or 'that time of the month' to ward off any pain.
But when it comes to trying to head off or stall any side effects prior to being immunized against coronavirus, experts advise you leave those pain relievers on the shelf.
Meds, such as Advil and Tylenol, could actually dull the vaccine from working.
According to ABC News, a study conducted by Duke University found that kids who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen before getting their childhood vaccinations had fewer antibodies than those who didn't take any. Fewer antibodies could equate to less protection.
Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine come from the activation of your immune system as it works to build immunity against the virus, ABC News reports, and that's exactly its intent. But certain pain relievers might interfere with or slow down your immune response.
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However, if you're someone who is already taking pain relievers to support another medical condition, experts want you to stick with them because coming off them could do more harm than good.
If, after you get the vaccine, you experience any of the reportedly common, yet minor side effects (temporary pain and swelling at the injection site, fevers, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, etc.), pain relievers can help, but it's always best to contact your physician for guidance.
Centers for Disease Control recommends some holistic approaches to COVID vaccine side effects. For instance, applying a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the injection site and moving or exercising your arm. If you come down with a fever, drink plenty of fluids and don't overly bundle up.
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