Doctors Warn Against Taking Pain Relievers Prior To Getting COVID 19 Vaccine


After the onset of the uncomfortable medical event, many people take painkillers to lessen the effects of the disease. But, doctors warn that it is not safe to consume over-the-counter pain killers before getting a shot of the vaccine. This is because pain killers may slow down the side effects of the COVID 19 vaccine. But they may dampen your immune system.

People are getting COVID 19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in increasing numbers. The vaccination causes certain minor side effects; swelling and pain in the injected area.  Some may also experience headache, fever, chills, muscle aches, and tiredness.  These are minimal annoyances. Some people, however, try to get rid of them using over-the-counter pain relievers.

Doctors Warn Against Taking Pain Relievers Prior To Getting Vaccine

According to Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at the South Shore Medical Center and a member of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, there is no sufficient data on how pain relievers influence vaccine-generated antibodies. Thus, he does not recommend using ibuprofen or Tylenol as pre-medication. 

Doctors Warn Against Taking Pain Relievers Prior To Getting Vaccine

According to Dr. Jewel Mullen, Health Equity Association Dean at the Dell Medical School, refraining from pre-medication lets you focus on the symptoms. Masking them won’t help. Favoring something that is not injured, gets reinforced. It indicates that there is psychologically something wrong with the person. Besides, the symptoms are short-lived.

The Covid vaccine activates your immune system to develop a response to the disease, but pain killers might impact the immune system. 

The side effects that occur after a shot of the vaccine indicate that it is producing antibodies to kill the virus. That is what we want to see happening. Taking pain killers may dampen parts of the immune system, making the vaccine less effective.

A recent study by Duke University attests to this observation. It found out that children who took pain killers prior to vaccination produced fewer antibodies than those who did not. This implies that pain killers affect the protection you receive from the vaccine.

Everyone expects maximum protection. Thus, experts advise that people avoid pain relievers if they don’t have a substantial reaction to the vaccine’s first dose. Most people experience just a sore arm after the vaccination. Otherwise, they manage it quite well.

Even when experts warn against pain relievers, they recommend them if you are taking them for any other health issue. Stopping them all on a sudden may cause unexpected problems. And that will do more harm than good.

The industry is now concerned about false information being spread everywhere. Mullen says that he has gratitude for all the success of the medical research and science that got the vaccine in a safe, science-based way so that people can feel secure that we are doing something to protect people along the way.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises that everyone should monitor the symptoms after receiving the shot. Pain killers are definitely not recommended for use prior to vaccination. Let your doctor evaluate your physical condition and recommend something that suits you. You may also try other home remedies for the side effects of the vaccine:

  • Place a clean wet cloth on the affected area.
  • Exercise your arms

If you experience fever, try to drink plenty of fluids. You should also dress lightly. If the side effects persist, you may have a pain reliever. Do not do it before you can notice the symptoms. Finally, do not forget to report any major side effects to your doctor. If a pain reliever is a must, take it two days prior to receiving the shot.