Thursday, October 15, 2009
Study: Giving Babies Tylenol Before Vaccinations May Make Shots Less Effective
posted by Growing Your Baby at 10/15/2009 11:40:00 pm
New Research suggests that giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations could make the shots a little less effective.
It is the first major study to tie reduced immunity to the use of fever-lowering medicines. Although the effect was small and the vast majority of kids still got enough protection from vaccines, the results make "a compelling case" against routinely giving Tylenol right after vaccination, say doctors from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It's common for parents to give their kids Tylenol just before or immediately after a vaccine is administered to prevent fevers and crankiness.
However, fever after a vaccine isn't necessarily bad — it's a natural part of the body's response. Curbing fever, especially the first time a baby gets a vaccine, also seems to curb the immune response and the amount of protective antibodies that are made, the new study found.
The study, which was led by military and government scientists in the Czech Republic at 10 medical centers in that Eastern European country. It involved 459 healthy infants, 9 to 16 weeks old, who were getting vaccines against polio, pneumonia, meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus, hepatitis and other childhood diseases.
The CDC doctors also point out that even with the fever-lowering drugs, more than 90 percent of children in the Czech study achieved protection from the various vaccines after the booster dose, so the effect of lower levels of antibodies on any individual might be small.