Parental Approach to the Prevention and Management of Fever and Pain Following Childhood Immunizations: A Survey Study

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Antipyretic analgesics are commonly used to prevent and treat adverse events following immunizations. Current practice discourages routine use due to possible blunting of vaccine immune responses. We surveyed 150 parents/caregivers of recently vaccinated 6- and 15-month-old children to determine the prevalence of and beliefs regarding antipyretic analgesics use around vaccinations. 11% used them prophylactically, before vaccination. Use in the first 48 hours after vaccination was 64%, primarily to prevent and/or treat fever and pain. Acetaminophen was administered 2.6 times more frequently than ibuprofen. Ibuprofen was used more in the 15-month compared with the 6-month-old children (28% vs 7.4%, respectively, P = .001). The majority of caregivers disagreed with their use for fever (53%) or pain (59%). Antipyretic analgesic use, including prophylaxis, around vaccinations was common in our study population. Effective interventions are needed to target parents/caregivers to eliminate unnecessary antipyretic analgesic use around vaccination time and foster nonmedication alternatives.

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