Paracetamol after jab: Only if the doctor advises it

Like any vaccine, Vaccines against covid-19 can cause side effects, most of which are mild to moderate and go away within a few days. While many may be tempted to use pain relievers or paracetamol, experts advise against their routine use.

In a tweet, Bharat Biotech said: “We have received comments that some vaccination centers recommend taking three 500 mg paracetamol tablets with Covaxin for children. No paracetamol or pain reliever is recommended after being vaccinated with Covaxin.

He said that through his clinical trials on 30,000 people, about 10-20% reported side effects. “Most were mild and resolved within a day or two and do not require medication. Medicines are only recommended in consultation with a doctor, ”he said.

A company spokesperson cited a study published in The Lancet in November 2021, which found that Covaxin was well tolerated. “Unless specifically recommended by physicians for certain recipients, paracetamol is not required.” The spokesperson said that based on available data from studies in adults and trials in children (2-18 years), the adverse events measured were similar to those of other inactivated vaccines and much lower than those of vaccines using other platforms.

The reasoning

“Basically, you can produce better antibody responses if there’s a little bit of inflammation. If an anti-inflammatory drug is administered immediately after vaccination, the antibody response may be less. There are studies that have documented that administering paracetamol or any other anti-inflammatory drug immediately after vaccination will suppress the immune response somewhat, ”said leading immunologist Dr Gagandeep Kang.

Dr Sanjay Pujari, a member of the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) National Working Group for Covid-19, said vaccine side effects are not very common and are mostly mild, resolving in 1 to 2 days. It is not known how drugs like paracetamol and other anti-inflammatory drugs might affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. Therefore, routine use of these drugs before or after taking vaccines is not recommended, he said.

Children and paracetamol

Pediatrician Dr Umesh Vaidya, Regional Medical Director (West) of Cloudnine Hospitals, said: “Unless there is a fever above a particular temperature, paracetamol is not given routinely. He said children tolerate vaccines much better than adults. Regarding paracetamol, he said: “This drug has been used in children for over 100 years. It is the safest drug in pediatrics. There is therefore no harm in giving paracetamol for any local or systemic febrile reaction after vaccination.

According to Dr. Amit Dravid, consultant in infectious diseases, in children, the hepatotoxicity of paracetamol could be of concern. It is a drug that is toxic to the liver. Therefore, this should not be a general rule and the drug should only be administered if there are symptoms after vaccination.

Why side effects

Side effects from the vaccine are a normal sign that the body is protecting itself. These can affect a person’s ability to do daily activities, but usually go away within a few days. Some people don’t have side effects and allergic reactions are rare, according to a December 16, 2021 update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Common side effects are pain, redness, swelling, headache, muscle pain, fever, and nausea. CDC says see a doctor to take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin (only for people 18 years of age and older) or antihistamines for any pain and discomfort felt after vaccination. It is not recommended to take drugs before vaccination in the hope of avoiding side effects. According to the CDC, it is not known how these drugs might affect the effectiveness of the vaccine. However, if the drugs are taken regularly for other reasons, they should be taken before vaccination.

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