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Why give Calpol for Men B?

(5 Posts)
Coveredintinsel Mon 04-Jan-16 16:31:10

Hello,

My DD is due to have her 8 week jabs tomorrow and I know that I'm supposed to dose her up with calpol afterwards to reduce the risk of fever from men b. Is this just because fever is unpleasant?

I've read that giving paracetamol after vaccines can make them less effective and I'm not super keen on giving it to my DD at such a young age unless absolutely necessary. Does anyone know what the logic is? Might it be better to wait and see if she develops a reaction?

I'm absolutely dreading it as it is because I hate the idea of her being in pain and, although I'm not anti-vaccine I am not entirely comfortable with injecting so many horrid things into my tiny little girl at once. (I realise it's better than her catching meningitis though of course hence why we are getting it all done).

Thanks!

sianihedgehog Mon 04-Jan-16 16:42:24

Its because very high fevers are very common with the men b jab. Calpol brings the fever down rather than just making it feel less unpleasant. A really high fever can be dangerous, so predosing will reduce the risks from fever.

Doublebubblebubble Mon 04-Jan-16 16:47:55

Because newborns cant regulate their own temperature. A fever on top of that just isn't good as Fever can induce febrile convulsions which (as the mother of a DD who has had 2 fc) are absolutely terrifying.

Y0uCann0tBeSer10us Mon 04-Jan-16 20:15:11

It's because the Men B jab is very likely to cause high fever which is dangerous in an 8 week old. The paracetamol reduces the impact of this, although it is still fairly likely she'll get a fever to some extent. You're right that in any other circumstance you'd be advised to avoid paracetamol in such a young baby, and indeed the maximum 'safe' dose would be two doses rather than three. You're also right about vaccine effectiveness, and if you read the various JCVI minutes on the topic, initial studies confirm that the prophylactic paracetamol does indeed reduce vaccine effectiveness (of Men B and the others to my understanding). However it was considered that the level of protection obtained was probably still good enough, and that the risk of fever out weighed concerns about vaccine effectiveness. It will be interesting in due course to see what if any effect this has on disease rates (and whether introducing Men B vaccine enhances the already falling rates of Men B), as there just isn't any data yet.

If you do decide to get the Men B with the others I wouldn't wait and see if she has a reaction as the chance of fever is really very high.

Coveredintinsel Mon 04-Jan-16 22:53:51

Thank you all very much! You've all confirmed what I suspected.

It's so hard to know what to do!! I wonder if they just give all these vaccines together for convenience despite the fact that the prophylactic paracetamol for the men b makes the other vaccines less effective. I wonder if I should defer that vaccine for another few weeks - but then I guess I would have to go private.

I am feeling sick at the thought of it tomorrow. I know that it's for the best in the long run but every ounce of maternal instinct in me is hating the idea of intentionally making my baby poorly, dosed up with a drug her system isn't ready for and in pain. Especially if fever is dangerous in such tiny babies.

But then again, it would be far worse if she actually caught meningitis or any of the other diseases being vaccinated against.

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