This is a question that crops up time and time again – especially now since new guidance has been given with the introduction of the MenB Vaccine to the primary immunisation schedule. I’d like to clear it up to help parents understand when you should or should not give your baby calpol or nurofen as a preventative strategy before vaccinations.
- Ibuprofen (Nurofen) should not be given to prevent pain or fever before any vaccination on the childhood schedule.
- Paracetamol (Calpol or Paralink) should only be given as a preventative measure at the time of the MenB vaccines only. This recommendation applies only to the vaccines given at two and four months of age.
- Paracetamol is recommended before the two and four month vaccines only as a result of the introduction of the MenB vaccine which may put your child at a higher risk of fever when given with the other vaccines.
- At your child’s two or four month vaccines three doses of paracetamol should be given – the first dose of 2.5mls infant paracetamol (60mg) should be given at the time of vaccination or just after. The second dose should be given 4-6 hours later and then the third dose should be given 4-6 hours after the second.
- Paracetamol (calpol) does not need to be given routinely at the 12 month vaccines as your baby is less susceptible to the side effects of the MenB vaccination.
So basically other than before the two and four month vaccines you should not routinely try to prevent side effects of vaccines by giving medication.
However, it is important to stress that if your child is over six months of age and develops a fever over 39 degrees celcius or pain, swelling, headache or irritability after receiving a vaccine you can then use either paracetamol (calpol or paralink) or ibuprofen (nurofen) to treat their symptoms.
On a personal note I would recommend breastfeeding or if not bottle feeding your baby during or just after their vaccinations – and LOTS AND LOTS of cuddles and hugs…they are shocked and horrified by whats going on and a little love and reassurance is sometimes the best medicine!
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!
PSI Guidance 2017