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The research was sponsored by Belgium-based GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, which makes all the vaccines used in the study. Some authors have financial ties to the company, including owning stock in it, and Glaxo had a role in reporting the results.
Even with the fever-lowering drugs, more than 90 percent of children in the Czech study achieved protection from the various vaccines after the booster dose, so the effect of lower levels of antibodies on any individual might be small, Dr. Robert Chen and two other CDC doctors wrote in an editorial.
Yet the consistency of findings from other studies makes "a compelling case against" routine use of fever-lowering medicines during immunization, they write.
It's not known if Tylenol or other painkillers might reduce vaccine response in adults, but they are less likely to develop a fever after vaccination or to be so bothered by it, said Dr. John Treanor, a vaccine specialist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., who had no role in the study.
Tylenol is the only member of the family of over-the-counter pain relievers that is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID.
"There's been speculation for a long time that the use of NSAIDs might have an effect" on antibody production after vaccination, but this is far from proved, Treanor said.
Given that so few children develop high fevers after vaccines, skipping the meds unless fever develops "may be the way to go," he said.
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