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Tetanus shot reaction


Tetanus, i.e. tetanus shot is vital when it comes to preventing an infection from spreading all over a person’s body and causing a lot of harm and damage. However, tetanus is also characterized by various side-reactions which can unfortunately, be pretty unpleasant for the person in question. One consolidating fact is that as little as one percent of all people who do get this shot actually experience more serious in nature post reactions.

Types of reactions and manifestations

When it comes to the reaction itself, those tetanus induced can be divided into a couple of different groups. Namely, they can be mild in nature, moderate and more severe. Of course, when having tetanus in mind, the one most frequently occurring are actually those mild in nature, which are characterized by the occurrence of minor swellings in the area where a shot has been injected. Among the rest of side manifestations that can appear are also minor fever, fatigue, pain in muscles, milder headaches and nausea. In comparison to the gravity of the tetanus itself, all the side effects that may occur and befall a person who has received a tetanus shot are not even remotely grave and dangerous. The initial culprit for tetanus infection are bacterial spores that are located in soil primarily, but also delve into the colon, dust accumulated in one’s home, operating rooms and excrement animal in nature, to name but the most frequent ones.

The mechanism

One particular type of these spores, referred to as Clostridium tetani, is responsible for the excretion of one toxin commonly referred to as tetanospasmin, and it is exactly this toxic substance that is the main culprit responsible for hindering the adequate functioning of the nerves, making it difficult for the muscles to relax. Another commonly used term for tetanus is also “lockjaw”, since this is the muscle that gets affected and stops responding first.

Other effects

Among other more common effects of the tetanus shot are such as enhanced fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. As far as the temperature is concerned, it can reach 102 degrees. There also exist those people who get even more seriously affected due to receiving this particular shot – initial reaction transforms into a severe allergic reaction making the mouth swell significantly, and induce difficulties in breathing and set on wheezing as well.


The greatest majority of those minor and mild tetanus shot reactions do not require any specific treatment, given the fact that such manifestations as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, swellings, pain in the stomach area and tiredness tend to disappear on their own mostly in the next 48 hours. But in case there occur more serious manifestations (e.g. allergic reaction, passing out, occurrence of seizures, etc.), immediate medical attendance is needed, and essential.

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