Health

Avoid Taking Pain Relievers Before COVID-19 Vaccination, Health Expert Says

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Motrin and Advil should not be taken before getting the coronavirus vaccine because it could decrease the efficacy of the drug, a health expert says.

“If you are pre-medicating before a vaccination, you really shouldn’t,” said Dr. Anita Gupta, a professor and anesthesiologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reported. “The reason for that is because these medications can blunt the immune system’s response to the vaccine.”

Gupta said pain relievers block an enzyme known as COX-1, which serves as the primary enzyme involved in immune response, WTTG reported. Scientists say when COX-1 is blocked, it may decrease the number of antibodies the body produces to protect the immune system.

“So when you take the vaccine, you may actually be blunting that response,” she said, WTTG reported. “So if you can avoid it, you should.”

However, Gupta said anyone taking the pain relievers under the direction of a physician should continue to do so.

As of Friday, roughly 48.4 million doses of vaccine have been distributed in the U.S., though only about 26.2 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

The U.S. currently has 25.8 million coronavirus cases and more than 434,000 virus-related deaths, both tops globally, according to data from a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

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