Tetanus shot - should I call Dr about this?

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Posted 6/27/2011 by scrappinboysmom in NSBR Board


PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 6/27/2011 11:00:43 AM
I cut my finger really bad the other day and had to get a Tetanus shot on Friday morning.

They said it would be a little red and sore the next day but if it lasts to call the Dr back.

Well, Saturday I woke up and there was a big hard lump at teh injection site adn it was a little warm. My whole arm was sore.

The soreness started to subside on Sunday and its not sore at all now, except for if I push on the injection site. So Im not worried about that. However, the site is still red, hard lump is still there (hasnt gone down in size), and it is still warm.

Should I call the Dr or is that still in the normal range for a Tetanus shot?


PeaNut 455,916
February 2010
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Posted: 6/27/2011 11:09:40 AM
You might want to call the doctor ... I don't remember having that happen the last time I had a tetanus shot.

Ruby Slippered Pea

PeaNut 74,765
March 2003
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Posted: 6/27/2011 11:21:42 AM
I would think this would be normal for as long as a week. When I had a Teatnus shot in college I felt sick and got a low grade fever for a couple of days after the shot.

I think both are common side effects. Nothing to get alarmed about unless the lump doesn't go away after a week or so.

Slow Poke Pea

PeaNut 857
June 1999
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Posted: 6/27/2011 11:27:48 AM
I would call if I was concerned - you can probably talk to the office nurse who can determine whether it's normal or if you need to be seen.


Pea All You Can Pea!

PeaNut 36,843
April 2002
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Posted: 6/27/2011 11:28:56 AM
I'd call. It can't hurt so I'd want to ask about it.


Doxie Pea Mom

PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
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Posted: 6/27/2011 12:04:16 PM
I wouldn't call because it sounds normal for me.........at least how tetanus shots affect me. That said, I am not a worrier and rarely call a doctor for anything.

ETA I was sore for about a week with my last tetanus.

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PeaNut 53,328
October 2002
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Posted: 6/27/2011 12:05:09 PM
The last time I had a tetanus shot, my arm was extremely sore for days. I don't recall any redness though. I personally wouldn't call, but if it makes you feel better, it couldn't hurt.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,642
February 2001
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Posted: 6/27/2011 1:35:00 PM
I had a tetnus shot earlier this year, and I had a huge welt where it was and my arm was sore for days. DH had one a few weeks later, and his was sore, but not quite as long.

if you're worried, check in with your doctor's office, but that's how I reacted to mine.

(It may have been more than just tetnus, mine was TDAP, but the doctor didn't mention it at the time, saw that's what I was billed for.)


PeaNut 289,617
January 2007
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Posted: 6/27/2011 1:36:25 PM
I had that happen to me. But the soreness lasted about a week or so. The first few days, it hurt to even move my arm or make a fist. They said I was having an allergic reaction but that there wasn't anything to do except give it time to heal. You might want to just touch base with the dr. to be safe.

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PeaNut 42,451
July 2002
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Posted: 6/27/2011 1:42:23 PM
That sounds normal to me as well. When I had a tetanus shot done, my arm was so sore that I had trouble lifting it. The soreness lasted about a week.


PeaNut 220
April 1999
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:21:41 PM
My dd just recently stepped on barbed wire and she was due for a booster. About day 3 after the shot. She had a huge knot that was red, hot to the touch and quite sore. I called the immunization clinic and it is completely normal. However if she had a fever then we should go in...but she didn't. It was about a week after the shot that the redness and swelling subsided.

My best friend just stepped on a nail last week while refinishing her front porch. Just as my dd had, she followed the same pattern. And was a little freaked out by it even though she witnessed the same thing in my dd. She called her dr and they said the same thing. It's just been a week now and it's finally back to normal.

I don't know why they say it'll only be sore for a little while when realistically it's about a week. My other 2 dd's had dtap boosters and while not a pronounced, red and swollen like the one above they did complain of soreness for about a week.

So my point is. As long as you don't have a fever. I'm gonna say that it's completely normal, albeit sore as all get out. Hope you feel better soon!



PeaNut 197,496
March 2005
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:43:22 PM
Count me among the people who had a sore arm for a few days. I got a tetanus/pertussis shot earlier this year, and my arm was sore for a few days. Not fun.


<--- Graduated from Texas Tech 12/18/2009!!


PeaNut 438,682
September 2009
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:47:11 PM
That happened to me the last time I got a tetanus shot. I was seen by a nurse (I was at the doc's office for bloodwork anyway) and was told it was a normal "reaction" to the shot. She measured the red area & said she'd talk to the doc about it. Two days later she called me back & they wanted to put me on antibiotics for it. I refused because by that time it was starting to improve on it's own. I'd say it was at least a week before the redness & soreness went away.

Pastafarian Pea

PeaNut 11,942
March 2001
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:49:56 PM
According to the CDC website, swelling and pain are common side effects from a tetanus shot. "Swelling of the entire arm occurred in 3% of cases but did not require medical intervention." Unless you're incapacitated, I don't think you need to worry. Give it the Air Force cure - ice and motrin. You'll be fine.


I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. --Susan B. Anthony

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PeaNut 286,882
December 2006
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:50:44 PM
I got the tetanus /pertussis shot two weeks ago and my arm was sore for five days so I vote normal!


PeaNut 256,481
April 2006
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Posted: 6/27/2011 2:53:50 PM
I had that happen years ago. They gave me Zyrtec (before it was over the counter) to help the knot go down.

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PeaNut 23,719
October 2001
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Loc: The East Coast

Posted: 6/27/2011 3:16:12 PM
I'm another one who gets a lump and my arm is so painful for days that I wake up if I role over on it in my sleep each time I get a tetanus shot.


How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
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PeaNut 393,905
October 2008
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Loc: Illinois

Posted: 6/27/2011 5:32:28 PM
Thanks, ladies!

No fever, and my arm isnt even sore anymore. Unless I touch the spot where the shot was given, but that I consider to be normal. So Im not going to call. If its still like this in another week I'll call teh doctor.

It was just Tetanus that I got.
I was cutting chicken for supper and cut my finger too. So I had the knife with the raw chicken on it cut my finger. By the time I got to the doctor the cut was already showing signs of infection.

UGH. I did a good one!

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