Parents Urged Not To Use Tylenol Before Vaccinations

Parents Urged Not To Use Tylenol Before Vaccinations

In an article published in October 2009, the Associated Press discusses the possibility that new research may suggest giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations may backfire and make the shots a little less effective. We asked Dr. Keith English, Chief of Infectious Disease at Le Bonheur Children's in Memphis and the University of Tennessee Medical Group to explain.

"When a routine dosage of Tylenol is given to infants before vaccinations are administered, the research does show that there is a very small chance it may make the vaccine a little less effective. In saying 'routine dosage', that is when a health care worker would automatically give a dosage of Tylenol right before or after administering the shot." However, he stressed the importance of recognizing that the study only looked at this type of preventive use of Tylenol - not whether it is OK to use after the vaccines are administered for the relief of mild symptoms.

"The Centers for Disease Control hasn't published any research that would indicate giving a child Tylenol for the relief of a sore arm or a fever after vaccines presents a problem. The study only suggests against routinely giving Tylenol, and that is based on a very small percentage of instances."

"As always, parents should talk to their pediatrician and remember to let their instincts guide them. If your child seems uncomfortable a few hours after he or she has received immunizations, there seems to be no adverse effect on the vaccine by giving them a dose of Tylenol to relieve the symptoms."

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