I got a tetanus shot and first my arm was completely fine but then the next day my arm was in severe pain. I think I am having reaction. I was sick and where the shot is it is swollen. I put icepack on it. Is this normal after tetanus shot? What I should do?
The tetanus vaccine protects people from the rare but dangerous disease that causes stiffening and tightening of the muscles. It is given during childhood and adulthood, with additional booster shots every 10 years, or after an injury.
The discussion starter received a tetanus injection and was worried that the pain is not a normal reaction after a shot.
Is this normal after tetanus shot?
Pain at the injection site is one of the most common side effects of receiving the tetanus vaccine. Apparently, the pain affects 8 in 10 people and should usually subside in a few days.
Others joined the discussion, claiming that they also experienced pain after receiving a tetanus shot, which was more or less severe. One participant in the discussion noted that some people experience adverse reactions to vaccines.
A lot of us don't have really bad reactions to tetanus, but there are also people out there who have severe allergic reactions.
Others symptoms besides the pain at the injection site have been reported, such as sharp pain below the ribs, stomach sickness, dizziness, hotness and redness around the injection site, burning sensation, skin rash, etc. Some of these symptoms may indicate an allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention.
Many participants in the discussion recommended applying ice packs to the injection site and resting the affected arm to relieve the pain. On the contrary, another member recommended doing some exercises like moving the arms up and down to lessen or shorten the time of the arm being sore and painful. Also, instead of ice, one member recommended using deep heat cream that would subside the pain a little.
Many participants also recommended using over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for pain, including ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) that should help relieve the pain.
Tylenol would work also, but Ibuprofen/Motrin has more anti-inflammatory properties.
While this is true, you should take care to not overuse ibuprofen because long-term use can lead to various gastrointestinal problems.
One participant claimed that studies have proven you have 30 years of immunity from tetanus after receiving a vaccine. There is only one clinical study claiming that tetanus shots are needed every 30 years, not every 10 in a form of boosters.
Another participant claimed that the majority of tetanus is caused by poor diet and hygiene - not a rusty nail. This is untrue. Spores of the bacteria that cause tetanus, Clostridium tetani, are found in soil, dust and animal feces. The spores enter a human body through deep flesh wound, and there, they grow into bacteria that can produce a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, causing muscle stiffness and spasms.
Take Advil people!
Tetanus vaccination is widely available in all parts of the world and although fairly safe in most individuals, toxoid shots are associated with side effects in some genetically susceptible individuals.
Studies have proven you have 30 years immunity.
The majority of Tetanus is caused by poor diet and hygiene - not a rusty nail.
What do experts say?
Tetanus is a serious disease caused by Clostridium bacteria that live in soil, dust, and manure. The bacteria can enter the body through a deep would, like those you might get from stepping on a nail, or any puncture wound, after a cat or dog bite, a burn, crush injury, etc. Tetanus causes a painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It is known colloquially as lockjaw because it can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the patients cannot open their mouth or swallow. Tetanus is a medical emergency that requires treatment in a hospital. Tetanus is lethal in about 1 out of 10 cases.
Being up to date with your tetanus vaccine is the best tool to prevent tetanus, along with good wound care. The vaccine given for tetanus can also contain components to prevent contracting certain other serious bacterial diseases, such as diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
There are three different tetanus vaccine formulations:
- DTaP vaccine prevents tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It’s used for children younger than 7 years old.
- Tdap vaccine prevents tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. It’s used for older children and adults.
- DT and Td vaccines prevent tetanus and diphtheria. DT is given to younger children, while Td is typically given to older children and adults.
The tetanus vaccine is given as a part of routine childhood immunization. Adults should get a tetanus shot, so-called booster, every 10 years or after getting a cut or burn because vaccine protection doesn't last a lifetime.
Some mild side effects are common to all types of tetanus vaccines. Most of these side effects are signs that your body is responding to build immunity against the disease.Pain at the injection site
Pain at the site of the injection is the most common side effect of the tetanus vaccine. According to the CDC, about eight in every 10 people feel the pain after the tetanus shot. The pain is just a body having a mild reaction to the injection, and it should fade within a few days. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication such as ibuprofen can be taken to alleviate the pain. If pain persists for a longer period of time (a few weeks) or becomes severe you should seek medical attention.Redness, tenderness, swelling, or a lump at the injection site
Some people may experience a slightly more intense reaction from the injection, causing their skin around the injection site to become red, tender, or swollen. A lump may also form at the injection site. According to the CDC, one in four people may experience redness or swelling. Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), may help reduce these symptoms.Mild fever
Some people may also develop a low-grade fever of up to 100.4ºF (38ºC) in response to the tetanus vaccine. Again, OTC medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen can help.
Other mild side effects may include a headache, tiredness or fatigue, and sore joints or chills.
Some people may develop moderate side effects that may interfere with their daily activities, but they do not need medical intervention, including:
- swelling of the arm
- swollen glands
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
The tetanus is safe in general. However, serious side effects of the tetanus vaccine are possible, although very rare. They may include severe allergic reaction or severe pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding at the injection site.Severe allergic reaction
In rare cases, the tetanus vaccine can cause allergic reactions that typically begin a few minutes to a few hours after vaccination. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below following your tetanus shot, seek immediate medical care:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- itchy throat, feet, or hands
- swelling of the face or throat
- sudden weakness
- rapid heartbeat
Sometimes, the skin may break and bleed as a response to the vaccine. If the injection site is bleeding or you experience pain, redness, or swelling that’s so severe that you can’t perform your usual activities, contact your doctor immediately.
Some people should avoid the tetanus shot. For example, people with certain conditions should talk to their doctor to discuss their options. People should be cautious if they have ever had:
- severe pain or swelling from a tetanus vaccine
- nervous system conditions
- Guillain Barre syndrome where the immune system attacks nerve cells
What side effects have been reported after tetanus shot?
- I woke the next morning and couldn't raise my arm past hip.
- Yeah, ive waited the same time, im only twelve but man does it hurt like heck.
- So it's last Wednesday I got my vaccination, and it's Monday 5 days later , and my arm is still very sore, I see by other comments that this may be common , however can anyone explain why it is so painful?
- I am a hairstylist by trade, and this pain is making my job very uncomfortable, as well as sleeping?
- I got a tetanus shot/whooping cough combo 3 weeks ago and by the 2nd day my arm was extremely sore and I could barely move it and was in constant pain for more than 3 days ( 7-8 with no movement and 10 when I moved it)- more shoulder joint pain than muscle pain.
What has been suggested to relieve the pain?
- And yes Advil does make it feel better , I don't like taking Advil as I full well know what it can do to my body organs but am thankful for it !
- Take Advil people!
- Since it is difficult to raise it let alone move it, try asking someone to raise it up and down for an interval of 30 mins during the day.
- But to lessen or shorten the time of it being sore and painful, try doing some exercises like moving your arms up and down.
- So i suggest you exercise them since they're kind of locked, because you don't move them because they hurt.