June 23, 2018

Tetanus Shot Side Effects

Individuals who get tetanus may develop muscle spasms and potentially die. The bacteria Clostridium tetani enters the body through a cut or wound caused by a rusty nail or sharp object. If a patient is infected with the Clostridium tetani virus, they are facing an 11 percent mortality rate if they do not get the vaccine. This bacteria causes a neurotoxin known as tetanospasmin to develop in the body. Although a cut does not necessarily mean they will develop tetanus, it is better to get the tetanus shot in advance. Some people who become infected with the bacteria may not develop the symptoms for up to a couple of months. To be on the safe side, patients should get the shot.

Tetanus Shot Side Effects

Like any vaccine or drug, tetanus shots can cause certain side effects. For most people, the side effects will not be serious or fatal. In rare cases, individuals could develop a fatal reaction to the drug. One normal side effect is for people to develop an ache or pain where they received the shot. After a few days, this side effect will normally disappear. Some patients may also suffer from numbness or feelings of hardness where they were given the vaccine.

On occasion, patients have reported having nausea, fevers, headaches or vomiting. They may also develop swelling, chills or redness. Although these side effects do not happen as often as pain at the injection site, they can still occur. In general, the majority of these symptoms will go away within a week. If patients experience prolonged flu-like symptoms, vomiting or diarrhea, they should immediately visit their doctor.

tetanus shotSerious Side Effects

Serious side effects of tetanus vaccines are extremely rare, but they may occur. Certain individuals have experience brain damage, coma or seizures. Some patients may also be allergic to the vaccine. If someone develops a rash near the injection shot, itchiness, problems breathing or dizziness, they may be having an allergic reaction. Anyone who has an allergic reaction to tetanus needs to immediately seek medical care.

Some of the symptoms associated with receiving a tetanus vaccine may include:

  • Fever
  • Pain near the injection site
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the joints
  • Muscles aches or pains
  • Tingling in the hands or feet
  • Seizures
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Hearing problems
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Problems breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Rashes

Side Effects in Children

Parents often choose to vaccinate their child to prevent future infections. Little children have a tendency to receive cuts from metal objects while they are playing. If parents give their child the vaccine, the effects should last for up to ten years.

The only issue with vaccinating a child is the age. Young children may be unable to speak or tell the parent what is wrong. If parents notice the child is crying or seems in pain, they should immediately visit a doctor. When children are given the tetanus vaccine, doctors will often give them a shot for pertussis and diphtheria. These vaccines carry many of the same side effects that they do for adults. Children may develop weakness, muscles aches, pain at the injection site or a lack of an appetite.

Most side effects can be managed by taking over-the-counter pain killers for a few days. Patients should tell their doctor if they have any history of allergies or medical conditions. Certain bleeding disorders and immune system problems can increase the frequency of side effects. Individuals who have a history of negative reactions to vaccines should always tell their doctor.

If a patient experiences any side effects, they should immediately seek medical care. Although most side effects will go away on their own, some can be fatal. To prevent side effects, patients should always tell their doctor about any medical problems or allergies that they may have.