Effect of prophylactic acetaminophen administration on reaction to DTP vaccination

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1988 Sep;77(5):747-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1988.tb10741.x.


The effectiveness of acetaminophen in preventing post-vaccination fever was studied in a double-blind randomized manner. Healthy five-month-old infants vaccinated with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) or DTP-inactivated polio vaccine were randomly allocated to receive either placebo (n = 130) or 75 mg of acetaminophen (n = 133) four hours after the vaccination. Rectal temperatures of the infants were measured in the post-vaccination evening and next morning by the parents. The mean values of rectal temperatures were equal in both groups, i.e. 37.6 degrees C, both in the evening and in the morning. No significant difference was found in the occurrence of other minor adverse reactions. Antibody titres to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis bacteria of the placebo (n = 25) and acetaminophen (n = 34) groups did not differ significantly from each other. It is concluded that acetaminophen in a single dose schedule is ineffective in decreasing post-vaccination fever and other symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diphtheria Toxoid / adverse effects*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fever / etiology
  • Fever / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Infant
  • Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Tetanus Toxoid / adverse effects*


  • Diphtheria Toxoid
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Tetanus Toxoid
  • Acetaminophen