Experts: Avoid over-the-counter painkillers before getting COVID-19 vaccine

Taking medicine before the COVID vaccine

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There is new data to suggest that taking a painkiller before getting your COVID-19 vaccine may not be a good idea.

Experts at Vanderbilt University say it’s not a good idea to take common over-the-counter meds like Tylenol or Advil because it could affect the vaccine.

It’s advised that you don’t take an over-the-counter painkiller because it could blunt the immune response, which is how the vaccine works.

“There is some question mark about whether or not those medications might reduce your body’s ability to make antibodies,” said Dr. Joy Henningsen.

Of course, experts aren’t saying you can’t take them afterward, especially if you have the most common symptom of arm soreness.

“The recommendations are that it is OK to treat that discomfort,” said Dr. Henningsen.

Just don’t preemptively take it --- and not even afterward if you can handle the discomfort.

“You never really want to take a medication unless you absolutely have to,” she advised.

If you regularly take other over-the-counter medication, check with your doctor or who is administering the vaccine before taking it that day.

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