CHPA Statement: OTC Pain Relievers and COVID-19 Vaccines

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“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.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), founded in 1881, is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of consumer healthcare products, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. CHPA is committed to empowering self-care by ensuring that Americans have access to products they can count on to be reliable, affordable, and convenient, while also delivering new and better ways to get and stay healthy. Visit