A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Avoid taking pain relievers before you get the COVID-19 vaccine

Editor’s note: This article was published on February 19, 2021. COVID-19 information and recommendations are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website or view our most recent COVID-19 blog posts.

Oftentimes to avoid pain with vaccinations, you might have taken over-the-counter pain relievers before you get the shot. However, is the COVID-19 vaccine different? Should you just withstand the pain to make sure the vaccine is effective?

Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine include pain and swelling where you received the shot in your arm. You also may experience fever, chills, tiredness or a headache, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

man holding shoulder after a COVID-19 vaccine

If you have a sore arm after your vaccine, our experts recommend ice, heat and movement to help with the pain.

Dr. Jennifer Strong, Marshfield Clinic Health System family medicine provider, said taking acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen before the vaccination may decrease the immune response. Therefore, she stresses that patients should not take any pain medication before the COVID-19 vaccine.

In management of post-vaccination symptoms, CDC does not recommend taking pain relievers to prevent symptoms of the COVID-19 vaccine because information on how those impact the antibody responses is not available at this time.

Although more research needs to be done, Strong said you can take pain relief medication after getting vaccinated, but recommends to avoid it if possible.

“If treatment is needed after the shot I would encourage non-pharmaceutical methods like heat, ice and rest,” she said. “If a medication is needed, it certainly can be used but it may have an effect on the effectiveness of the vaccine. I chose to take acetaminophen a day after my second shot for some mild symptoms.”

Talk to your provider if you have additional questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. You also can visit marshfieldclinic.org/covidvaccine to find out if you are eligible to sign up for the vaccine.

Related posts

Why I got the COVID-19 vaccine: A firefighter’s perspective

COVID-19 vaccine: What you need to know about safety monitoring and tracking

  1. Mar 4, 2021
    • Mar 4, 2021
  2. Feb 25, 2021
    • Mar 1, 2021
  3. Feb 19, 2021
    • Feb 22, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

View our comment policy