What Are the Possible Side Effects From Flu Shots?


Quick Answer

Some patients experience temporary pain at the injection sight, muscle aches, headache or dizziness following a flu shot, according to Healthline. Severe allergic reactions leading to hives, trouble breathing, weakness and swelling are rare. Patients who experience these severe side effects should call emergency services immediately.

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Full Answer

The flu shot comes in two forms: an injection and a nasal spray, explains Healthline. It can reduce a patient's risk of contracting the flu by up to 60 percent and is recommended especially for those over the age of 65 as well as individuals with chronic diseases. Many patients experience no side effects from the flu shot, and when side effects do occur, they are typically mild.

Pain at the injection site is the most common side effect of the flu shot, according to Healthline. Patients who notice their injection sites are warm, red or sore can expect these symptoms to clear up within two days. Muscle aches throughout the body and headaches also clear up within two days and can be managed with pain relievers if necessary. Patients who get the flu shot should be aware that a fever less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit is considered a mild side effect and is not cause for alarm. In rare cases, patients experience fevers over 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Medical attention should be sought for a high fever.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a very rare condition that occasionally affects patients following flu shots, explains Healthline. This syndrome causes weakness and paralysis, and although patients typically recover quickly, hospitalization is required.

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