Covid vaccine: When should you take paracetamol – before or after the jab?

Coronavirus: Paracetamol 'superior' to ibuprofen says expert

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As with the swine flu pandemic, vaccines have played a major role in reducing transmission, serious illness, hospitalisations, and deaths.

Similar to other vaccines, there has been debate about their effectiveness, the speed with which they were created and, for some, the motives behind their inception.

Within this has been about how to manage the side effects of the vaccine.

Every vaccine has side effects and the COVID vaccines are no different.

The NHS lists the potential side effects as:
• A sore arm
• Feeling tired
• A headache
• Feeling achy
• Feeling or being sick

On painkillers the NHS adds that they can be taken “if you need to”.

Painkillers have many more uses beyond relieving the side-effects of vaccines.

They’re used most often for relieving pain, although some have other uses too.

Paracetamol is used for treating headaches and non-nerve related pains.

Ibuprofen is a form of anti-inflammatory drug used to treat the symptoms of arthritis or in the aftermath of an injury.

Whilst Aspirin is categorised as a painkiller, it is not often used to treat pain.

Instead, it is used as an anti-inflammatory.

Codeine, meanwhile, is a very strong painkiller and, as such befits a strong painkiller, is not recommended for long-term use.

Neither is morphine.

Commonly used in hospitals, it is one of the strongest painkillers available and can be prescribed as a patch, pump, or injection.

Most painkillers, if taken for too long, can have severe health consequences, including serious side effects and addiction.

As a result, any prescription of a strong painkiller will be monitored closely by your GP.

For further information about the side effects of ibuprofen and paracetamol, see the leaflet that the medication comes with or consult with the NHS.

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