Is it safe to take allergy pills the same day as a COVID vaccine?

Allergy pills with COVID vaccine
Photo via Maria Eklind/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

For months, concern has been swirling around the true impacts of the COVID-19 vaccines and their side effects. Reports of discomfort and mild pain post-vaccination have left some people wondering what preventative measures might be taken to soften the blow. Multiple avenues to prepare for the COVID vaccine, including the use of anti-inflammatories and allergy pills, have been widely circulated online. Most of these preventative measures have yet to be tested, however, which means most documented effects are likely to be anecdotal. 

If you don’t regularly take allergy pills for the express purpose of treating allergies, you shouldn’t take one before getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Antihistamines like Benadryl aren’t likely to prevent any allergic reactions from the COVID-19 vaccine, and since allergy pills have yet to be tested and determined as safe, experts advise non-regular users to avoid any extra risks. 

In fact, allergy pills might actually make things worse for people who have allergic reactions to the injection.

Antihistamines are unlikely to completely eradicate a reaction to the vaccine, and may instead reduce the severity of a reaction. This could make it more difficult to identify an allergic response and accidentally delay the treatment of symptoms. 

But what about anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin? Experts also advise against taking any of these options before getting vaccinated. It remains unclear how these medications may react with the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and similar recommendations have been made in the past for influenza vaccinations. 

Read more on the coronavirus vaccines:

Sources: CDC, Web MD, URMC Rochester

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