Effect of prophylactic paracetamol administration at time of vaccination on febrile reactions and antibody responses in children: Two open-label, randomized controlled trials

Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University of Defence, Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 10/2009; 374(9698):1339-50. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61208-3
Source: PubMed


Although fever is part of the normal inflammatory process after immunisation, prophylactic antipyretic drugs are sometimes recommended to allay concerns of high fever and febrile convulsion. We assessed the effect of prophylactic administration of paracetamol at vaccination on infant febrile reaction rates and vaccine responses.
In two consecutive (primary and booster) randomised, controlled, open-label vaccination studies, 459 healthy infants were enrolled from ten centres in the Czech Republic. Infants were randomly assigned with a computer-generated randomisation list to receive three prophylactic paracetamol doses every 6-8 h in the first 24 h (n=226) or no prophylactic paracetamol (n=233) after each vaccination with a ten-valent pneumococcal non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae protein D-conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV) co-administered with the hexavalent diphtheria-tetanus-3-component acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3-H influenzae type b (DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib) and oral human rotavirus vaccines. The primary objective in both studies was the reduction in febrile reactions of 38.0 degrees C or greater in the total vaccinated cohort. The second objective was assessment of immunogenicity in the according-to-protocol cohort. These studies are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT00370318 and NCT00496015.
Fever greater than 39.5 degrees C was uncommon in both groups (after primary: one of 226 participants [<1%] in prophylactic paracetamol group vs three of 233 [1%] in no prophylactic paracetamol group; after booster: three of 178 [2%] vs two of 172 [1%]). The percentage of children with temperature of 38 degrees C or greater after at least one dose was significantly lower in the prophylactic paracetamol group (94/226 [42%] after primary vaccination and 64/178 [36%] after booster vaccination) than in the no prophylactic paracetamol group (154/233 [66%] after primary vaccination and 100/172 [58%] after booster vaccination). Antibody geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) were significantly lower in the prophylactic paracetamol group than in the no prophylactic paracetamol group after primary vaccination for all ten pneumococcal vaccine serotypes, protein D, antipolyribosyl-ribitol phosphate, antidiphtheria, antitetanus, and antipertactin. After boosting, lower antibody GMCs persisted in the prophylactic paracetamol group for antitetanus, protein D, and all pneumococcal serotypes apart from 19F.
Although febrile reactions significantly decreased, prophylactic administration of antipyretic drugs at the time of vaccination should not be routinely recommended since antibody responses to several vaccine antigens were reduced.
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (Belgium).

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    ABSTRACT: Background Prophylactic antipyretic administration decreases the post-vaccination adverse reactions. Recent study finds that they may also decrease the antibody responses to several vaccine antigens. This systematic review aimed to assess the evidence for a relationship between prophylactic antipyretic administration, post-vaccination adverse events, and antibody response in children. Methods A systematic search of major databases including MEDLINE and EMBASE was carried out till March 2014. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing prophylactic antipyretic treatment versus placebo post-vaccination in children ≤6 years of age were included. Two reviewers independently applied eligibility criteria, assessed the studies for methodological quality, and extracted data [PROSPERO registration: CRD42014009717]. Results Of 2579 citations retrieved, a total of 13 RCTs including 5077 children were included in the review. Prophylactic antipyretic administration significantly reduced the febrile reactions (≥38.0°C) after primary and booster vaccinations. Though there were statistically significant differences in the antibody responses between the two groups, the prophylactic PCM group had what would be considered protective levels of antibodies to all of the antigens given after the primary and booster vaccinations. No significant difference in the nasopharyngeal carriage rates (short-term and long-term) of H. influenzae or S. pneumoniae serotypes was found between the prophylactic and no prophylactic PCM group. There was a significant reduction in the local and systemic symptoms after primary, but not booster vaccinations. Conclusions Though prophylactic antipyretic administration leads to relief of the local and systemic symptoms after primary vaccinations, there is a reduction in antibody responses to some vaccine antigens without any effect on the nasopharyngeal carriage rates of S. pneumoniae & H. influenza serotypes. Future trials and surveillance programs should also aim at assessing the effectiveness of programs where prophylactic administration of PCM is given. The timing of administration of antipyretics should be discussed with the parents after explaining the benefits & risks.
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    • "Pain, headache, and fever as side effects might be reduced by co-administering substances such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, even though antibody titers can be slightly lower under such circumstances [37]. As already outlined in Sect. "
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    • "Our finding extends the data recently published by Prymula et al. that showed that prophylactic use of paracetamol inhibited the induction of antibodies to a combination of child-hood vaccines in infants [15]. Infants were vaccinated with the hexavalent diphtheria-tetanus-3-component acellular pertussis-hepatitis B-inactivated poliovirus types 1, 2, and 3-H influenza type b and oral human rotavirus vaccines. "
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