CHPA Statement: OTC Pain Relievers and COVID-19 Vaccines

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Press Releases and Statements | Feb 4, 2021

“Recent media reports have cited infectious disease experts who recommend against premedicating with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, like those containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen, when getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Definitive scientific data is lacking on whether these medicines could impact antibody production and immune response, and there is no research to date that specifically looks at whether these medicines can interfere with how well the coronavirus vaccines work.”

“Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, like those containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen, are indicated and labeled to temporarily reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains. CDC recommends that individuals who experience discomfort after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination consult with their doctor about taking an OTC pain reliever.”

“There is concern people may take OTC pain relievers before being vaccinated in an attempt to prevent soreness or muscle aches after the injection. However, CDC does not recommend, nor are these OTC pain relievers indicated for, ’routine prophylactic administration’ to prevent post-vaccination symptoms of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

“If you are already taking one of these medicines for another condition, speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your pain management routine or if you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccinations.”

Click here for additional information regarding OTC medicines and COVID-19.

Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.