Should Older Adults Use Pain Medications Before or After the Vaccine?
If you’re helping an older loved one find vaccination sites, you may have heard from others that pain at the injection site is a common side effect. You may wonder if a pre-emptive over-the-counter pain medication would help them. Before reaching for the aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen, read on.
Older adults should only take pain medications after receiving the vaccine if they have pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state, “... routine prophylactic administration of these medications for the purpose of preventing post-vaccination symptoms is not currently recommended.”
Instead, wait to see if your older loved one experiences any pain after receiving the injection. If they do have any pain or discomfort, they should consult their primary care physician about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
They could also try a non-pharmacological approach by either:
- Applying a cool, wet washcloth over the injection site; or
- Exercising the arm that received the injection since the needle is inserted into the muscle.
CarePatrol understands that these are challenging times, but we are here to help older adults and their families navigate quality care options.