In the case of unsightly vaccine reactions, it is obvious to resort to painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. How do the RKI and other experts assess the effect on corona protection?
Update from Wednesday, May 5th, 2021, 8:24 am: “Can I take painkillers after the corona vaccination?” With the increasing number of people vaccinated in Germany, more and more people are asking themselves this question: unsightly vaccination reactions or side effects can put a strain on body and mind for days. It is not only experts who are eagerly awaiting a study that researchers from the University of British Columbia are currently working on (see below, first report from March 16, 2021). This is intended to show how and whether the use of painkillers affects the immune system created by the corona vaccination.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) writes that the data situation is “not sufficient” to be able to say with certainty how drugs such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are compatible with vaccines from Biontech, Moderna or AstraZeneca. Research is not available. The same applies to possible differences between the active ingredients or their dose. A “valid” assessment is not yet possible. The RKI refers in his remarks however, on the assessment of other experts who advise caution. The time it is taken is therefore important.
From studies on non-corona vaccines it is known that prophylactic, i.e. pain reliever, intake before vaccination “Is not recommended” (see below, first report from March 16, 2021). The situation is different if the grip on paracetamol & Co. after vaccination he follows. As of now, there is “no evidence that the administration of these drugs could significantly influence the success of the vaccination if undesirable side effects occur after the vaccination,” writes the RKI. So there are no indications of a risk to vaccination protection. At the time that one should wait six to eight hours before taking the medication, as has proven advisable with other vaccines, no assessment is possible.
Corona vaccination: vaccination protection in danger – experts warn of risk
First report from Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 11.30 a.m .: Fever, body aches, the so-called Covid arm – a vaccination against the coronavirus can have unpleasant side effects, regardless of which vaccine was inoculated. Reaching for a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to combat or even prevent such complaints is obvious. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) even hit one Vaccination information sheet (11.01.2021) before taking paracetamol in case of fever and pain after the vaccination. But as now suggests, taking painkillers too early could compromise vaccination protection.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver are currently investigating the question of whether painkillers should be taken against a vaccine reaction to the corona vaccination. Based on data on side effects and “given the availability of over-the-counter febrile drugs, it is expected that potentially millions around the world will use them to moderate acute systemic side effects associated with COVID-19 vaccination,” the researchers write in one Form, which will be published soon in the specialist magazine “Chest” should appear.
Painkillers after the corona vaccination can reduce the effect
Why could that be problematic? Some studies – but not all, the researchers emphasize – indicate that pain relievers, if taken before or immediately after a vaccination, could reduce vaccination protection. Because they can suppress the natural vaccination reaction, which can be expressed, for example, by a fever. The health portal “aponet.de” writes, “A suppressed immune reaction could theoretically reduce the formation of antibodies and thus the effect of the vaccination.” This also applies not only to corona vaccinations, but also to vaccinations against other diseases.
A Study from the specialist magazine “The Lancet” showed that taking paracetamol to prevent side effects when vaccinating a cohort of children decreased antibody titers. Also one Work from 2014 shows for adults that administration of paracetamol at least six hours after vaccination had no influence on the immune response, while administration immediately after vaccination weakened it. Especially for the corona vaccines from Biontech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, however, it has not yet been investigated what effects preventive painkillers can have on immunization.
Astrazeneca and Co: No data on pain killers from vaccine manufacturers
A study on the AstraZeneca vaccine mentions that the prophylactic administration of paracetamol does not impair immunogenicity – i.e. the ability of the vaccine to trigger an immune reaction in the body. However, no data has been published, the researchers in Canada note. In addition, it is not certain whether the results can also be applied to vaccines of the mRNA type, such as Biontech and Moderna. AstraZeneca is a vector vaccine. At Moderna, no data on the use of antipyretic had been published, Biontech and Pfizer merely mentioned that the use of antipyretic increased with increasing dosage and number of doses. Nothing was disclosed about immunogenicity.
Regardless of the corona pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US recommend Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNot to take pain medication before or shortly after a vaccination. They could only be taken in the days after vaccination to combat side effects. (Ines Alberti)
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