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Tetanus shot made my Arthritis Pain UNBEARABLE. Is this normal?
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Tetanus shot made my Arthritis Pain UNBEARABLE. Is this normal?

I have had moderate to severe joint pain since April, and was recently diagnosed with Parvovirus B19. Apparently the virus can cause severe Arthralgia that lasts upto 9 months.

On good days my pain level is at a 3. On bad days it will go upto a 6/7. Yesterday I stepped on a metal wire and it got stuck in my foot. The urgent care center recommended I get a tetanus shot, since I have not had one in over 10 years. I asked what the side effects were, and they said my arm would be a little sore.

Well, " a little sore" does not quite describe it. My arm was in excruciating pain all night and still really bad today. I can't even lift it more that a couple inches. Also,  all my joints on my left side ( side I got the shot) were in excruiating pain 8-9. I just sat in bed and cried last night. I took 3 tylenol arthritis's and an extra Meloxicam that I have for joint pain and it did nothing, My arthritis continues to be really bad today. I called the urgent care and asked if I could come back in to get some medication to help until the pain stops. They said they could not do that, and that the tetanus shot would not aggrivate arthritis.

Let me know if anyone else has experienced worsened arthritis symptoms after a vaccination or shot. I wanted to get the flu shot soon, but I am scared now. Can the Flu shot make me hurt this bad as well? Let me know If I should tell the doctor and ask for additional pain medication. Or if the doctor will just tell me " No". Thanks
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469901_tn?1276567223
I have not heard of this from anyone else in this forum.  I think something maybe wrong and you should see a doctor.  Some pain can be expected, knots in muscles are normal, but the amount of pain you are describing is not normal.  
I get a flu shot every year and have not had a bad reaction to it.  I think you should find out what is going on with the pain you are experiencing now and then see about the flu shot.  Please let us know what you find out.
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982333_tn?1305792489
I took your advice, and went to the doctor. Of course my regular doctor did not have any openings, so I went to the local Immediate Care Center. The doctor there said the reaction I was expieriencing to the Tetanus shot was not typical. She said there was nothing to worry about , since my reaction was " delayed" and not immediate. The only life threatening reaction would occur immediately after the injection. The pain and fatigue did not start until nearly 8 -10 hours later

She thinks that due to the  Parvo Virus, my body may have been extra sensetive to the side effects of the shot. Or the shot could have triggered a flare up with the Arthritis. However, my joints are still able to move, it's more musvle sorenes around my joints.

She wants me to follow up with my PCP. She did a physical examination and indicated I had a lot of tender points. I did not realize places in my back, neck and arms were tender until she pushed on them. She suspects Fibromyalgia. I think it is strange that I would have Arthritis from Parvovirus, and then just develope Fibromyalgia too, after getting a tetanus shot. I am so confused now...

She just gave me some Tylenol 3, and told me to Ice my arms and I should feel better after a couple days.

Very Strange....
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982333_tn?1305792489
She also advised that I do not get the Flu shot, until after this Parvovirus has run it's course and my body is back to normal.
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469901_tn?1276567223
Great info!  I am sure it felt good to get some answers.  Fibromyalgia is a possibility.  I am always suspicious of it as a dx before tests are run.  FMS is a diagnosis of exclusion, once they rule out everything else then it becomes valid.  I hope you do not have FMS, that your tender spots are due to the other conditions.  Hang in there and keep us posted!
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Avatar_m_tn
I too got the tetanus vaccine, because I cut myself cutting up frozen fish. Although I didn't realize until I saw blood (my fingers got too frozen from holding the frozen fish too long). I called the on call nurse, and got stitches on my cut, and she noticed I hadn't had my tetanus vaccine in over 10 years. So she asked if I wanted it. She told me that my arm would just get sore. So I agreed to get it. Now I am kind of regretting it. My arm is in so much pain, I can't even lift it up more than a couple of inches. Also, to top it off, I think I may have some type of arthritis, and I think the vaccine just amplified it. At first, my arm was just a little bit sore, but the next day, the pain got worse. (I got the vaccine around 8 pm) and after I woke up the next day, it had gotten much worse. Now, its almost been 2 days since my vaccine, and the pain is still there. I have an appointment on friday, but I am not going to wait that long if the pain still persists. I am glad to see that I'm not the only one finding the tetanus vaccine side effects to cause so much pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just got a tetanus shot today because I helped a cat get it's leg free and it bit me several times in my hand. I have arthritis and I am on extra strength prescribed painkillers and I too am in alot of pain from the shot. my painkillers are not even taking the edge off the pain. I too want to know why this is happening.
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1193998_tn?1265121197
Anything that stimulates your immune system has the potential to trigger a flare-up in auto-immune disorders like RA. I also refuse to get a flu shot, much to my rheumatologist's frustration. A couple years ago I relented and got one during the swine flu scare, and my joints ached for a couple of weeks and I felt like i was coming down with something upper respiratory. My doctor blew it off, but after 45+ years with this disease, I know how my own body reacts.

On the other hand, probably thanks to my RA meds, the effect was temporary. However everyone is different - some may get a full-blown flare.

I also stay away from any herbal or vitamin supplements purported to support or build up the immune system, like echinacea, goldenseal, etc. The few times I've tried it during cold season, i ended up with an RA flare.

Maybe the long term affects of a flu shot are worth it, but I'm too busy to deal with two weeks of feeling sick.
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Avatar_f_tn
The morning after I had a tetanus shot, I woke up with very stiff hands and feet like I had never experienced before.  Over a two week period, the stiffness progressed from my thumb and big toe area to my pinky area.  Now my hands feel fine, but my left ankle and foot are swollen and painful like someone with gout.  I have never had a problem before, and it just seems too coincidental to not be from the shot.  Of course I was told that those are not symptoms associated with the tetanus vaccine.
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Avatar_m_tn
On January 28,2013 I got the tetanus shot as part of my yearly physical.  On Jan.29 I woke up with severe neck pain.  I was told I had Arthus reaction and it would eventually go away.   Pain on the left side spread and lasted almost 6 weeks.  The pain then spread to the muscles,joints, and nerves all over my body.  I am seeing a rheumatologist now and she is stumped.  Meanwhile I can hardly walk today and my neck and shoulers hurt terribly.  This is going on for 9 weeks.  Lupus and rheumatoid arthritus have been ruled out.  I have a normal sed rate and a elevated CRP.  I don''t show many signs of fibromyalgia.  Anyone who might know what s going on please reply.  I want to feel normal again
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello cindy82548,
I would like to share by story with you because mine is similar.  I received a Tetanus shot on 1/2/13 and had no immediate reaction.  Late Feb I begin having numbing and tingling sensation in my left forearm and hand.  Went to GP and order a EMG and MRI of neck and brain.  EMG Doc diagnosed me with Carpal Tunnel in both wrist (never had any issue before this).  MRI came back normal of Brain and abnormal of neck (degenerative disease).  During this time I’ve had about 20% muscle loss in arms, back, chest, and some in legs.  I have joint pain and am stiff as rock when I wake up in the morning.  My GP said it would take a couple of months to get a Neurologist appointment and recommended that I go to Cleveland Clinic to get more immediate attention.  Went to Cleveland Clinic and they are doing all kinds of testing on me.  They did a full body EMG and found weakness in my left triceps (same muscle they gave me the Tetanus shot!!!).  I meet with Rheumatologist in a couple of weeks.  I went from running in ½ marathons, playing in bball leagues and super-activity with family and kids to now feeling like I’m 80 years old (I’m 35)!  Before that Tetanus shot I was healthy as could be and now I’m getting by day-to-day!!
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Avatar_m_tn
the same thing happened to me..I had a tetanus shot and three weeks later starting twitching and have systemic muscle loss..I have muscle loss in every single Part of my body including face..I have lost all my cartilage in body and have unbearable joint pain..my neck is getting smaller..I know it was a reaction to the tetanus shot..did this happen to anyone else and if some what was done about it...I can't function hardly no more .im 28 and was 100 percent heathy now I feel like a old man .....in two months..please help....contact me at ***@****
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,

A very similar thing happened to my mom and she was diagnosed with MCTD (mixed connective tissue disease) have they tested for that?
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Avatar_f_tn
This is happening to me now!!! Oh my god I can't believe the severe pain I feel, it's exactly how you said UNBEARABLE. I went to a new doctor yesterday because my insurance changed and she recommended I get a tetnus shot because it had been a long time. I should have said no, since last night I have been in excruciating pain all over especially my hips for some reason, and It feels like the bones are on fire. Or broken, either way it's becoming unbearable and I'm obviously going to have to get checked out. I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 5 (im 26 now) but this is one of the most painful expiriences I've ever had. I wish there was a cure for this painful and never ending disease. I'll pray for you all, and please pray for me. I'm Amy..
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so happy that there are others like me that had a severe reaction to Tetnus!  I "suddenly" got hit with a severe case of RA which none of the doctors at the time could figure out what was wrong with me for the first 3 months. The pain was unbearable!! My RA test which should have been under 15, came out 647!.  I racked my brains for the past two years to figure out what the heck did I did different because I was so active and healthy before.  The only thing I did was have a Tetanus shot because I cut my hand washing dishes and had 10 stitches. When it started I thought, how did I sprain my ankle, and the clutch is hurting my foot etc, then hit HARD about 2 months after the shot in every joint in my body. The meds the RA doctor gives me is killing me slowly because they stop cell growth, off and on on Prednisone and so depressed can't handle it sometimes. So now what?  Will we ever get this under control?  
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Avatar_f_tn
******** I Am pist too I know my pain is worse cause feom the shot I have a lomg story cant type rite now much but yes on my right side it hurts worse n its feom tetnus shot for sure doctor trting to tell I got a virus well I am not stupid but too pist off I am going through that plus more and I think they offer me a tetnus shot every time I move
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Avatar_m_tn
I have some pain in my shoulder and nerve pain in my arm and left leg. I have been seeing several doctors. My Primary care says I need a tetanus shot it's been 11 years since I had one. I get the shot and shortly after I can't lift my left arm up past horizontal position. So I think well it will go away in a couple of days. Ya right I called the doctor and she said it will go away. On my next appointment One month later things are even worse. My arm still kills me My right ankle is swollen my hands feel swollen my wrists are swollen and numb and my shoulder are in constant pain.I tell the doc she says I need tests so they come back positive for parvovirus B-19. I never had this before and don't know were it came from. But It all started with that tetanus shot.
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Avatar_m_tn
I went to the doctor for a follow-up exam and he insisted that I receive a tetanus shot since my last shot was more than 10 years ago.  A few days later I experienced stiffness in that shoulder.  Two weeks later I returned to the doctor due to the shoulder pain.  He said an X-ray showed signs of arthritis (which I never experienced prior to the immunization) and ordered physical therapy.  I will not return to this doctor again.  I am a healthy 61 year old woman with no health issues until that tetanus shot.  Doctors should at least advise patients of potential negative outcomes.  I am hoping the pain  gradually goes away.
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Avatar_m_tn
You are absolutely right.  I had the same experience.  I changed doctors and now I am cautious regarding any medical treatment.  
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