What are the side effects of a tetanus shot?

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A tetanus shot is required in order to prevent infections from bacteria that produce a toxin that causes the muscles in the body to tighten and lock. All infants and children should be given tetanus toxoid as part of their vaccination series. Even adults should receive a booster dose every 10 years and can even receive a booster shot after sustaining a deep puncture wound. Even though the tetanus vaccine is specifically designed not to trigger any serious health issues, some side effects can still occur that you should be familiar with.

For those who have not received a tetanus shot, always bear in mind that there are possible side effects that can occur. Some are lucky enough not to experience any of these side effects at all.

Localized reaction

Many individuals who were given a tetanus shot can experience pain, redness and swelling around the injection site. It is important to note that these symptoms are not severe enough to disrupt with the daily activities whether at home or at work. These symptoms can be relieved by providing the individual with over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. In some cases, the swelling and pain can be severe, but these usually subside after a few days.

Gastrointestinal reaction

If a tetanus shot is given, it can cause problems in the digestive system such as stomach pain, indigestion, nausea and diarrhea. These gastrointestinal side effects occur among a small percentage of adolescents and rarely in adults.

Tetanus shot
If a tetanus shot is given, it can cause problems in the digestive system such as stomach pain, indigestion, nausea and diarrhea.

Allergic reaction to the tetanus shot

When a tetanus shot is administered, it can also trigger a serious allergic response in some individuals. These allergic reactions to the tetanus shot can result to the swelling of the extremities, face, lips and the tongue. In severe allergic reactions, it can result to swelling of the throat and rapid heart rate, thus making swallowing and breathing difficult. Always remember that an allergic reaction to the tetanus shot is considered as a medical emergency that entails immediate emergency care. The individual must be taken to the hospital so that further assessment and care can be provided right away.

Just like with other allergies, the individual must be checked by the doctor so that the symptoms can be relieved before they become worse.

Lingering pain

In some circumstances, the tetanus shot can trigger deep aching pain that occurs between 2 days up to 4 weeks. These symptoms can linger for months and can indicate a serious adverse reaction to the tetanus shot. Individuals who experience pain weeks after the vaccination was administered should consult a doctor.

Systemic immune response of the body

In some cases, the side effects after a tetanus shot is administered are due to the activation of the immune system as a response to the vaccine. Mild fever is quite common while others feel tired or experience generalized body aches. The less common side effects include chills, swollen lymph nodes and sore joints.

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