Patients and friends are asking if pain relievers/fever reducers can be taken to reduce the side effects of the COVID vaccine. Here is a nice summary prepared by my friends at ConsumerLab.com.
If possible, avoid taking pain relievers/fever reducers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen (or other NSAIDs) before getting the vaccine, since research has found that acetaminophen and ibuprofen can reduce the antibody response to several other vaccines (Herve, NPJ Vaccines 2019).
Taking these medicines prior to the COVID-19 vaccine MAY (emphasis on “may”, because we do not know for sure) blunt immune response to this vaccine as well, although this has not yet been reported.
However, according to the CDC, people who are taking aspirin, acetaminophen or similar medicines for other conditions may continue to do so as directed by one’s doctor.
Pain relievers/fever reducers CAN (and I think should) be taken in the days after vaccine administration to reduce side effects such as pain, fever, or headache.
Keep in mind that other strategies such as applying a cool washcloth or exercising your arm may also help relieve pain, while drinking plenty of water and dressing lightly may help lessen discomfort from fever (CDC, What to Expect 2020).
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.