ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
CANCER
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
CAREGIVING
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Healthy Diet Could Cut Alzheimer's Disease Risk
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Add your Article

HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate

MONDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of serious allergic reactions to the cervical cancer vaccine is considerably higher than that for other vaccines given to children, but the total number of these reactions remains miniscule, Australian researchers report

Overall, the Gardasil shot is remarkably safe, declared a team of doctors in an editorial accompanying the study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. They did acknowledge the need to keep tabs on possible side effects, however.

"Parents can be reassured that these reactions were very rare and are not a reason to not vaccinate their daughter against HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer)," said study lead author Dr. Julia Brotherton, a public health physician at the National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance in Australia.

Gardasil, which was approved for use in the United States in 2006, protects against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted infection that causes most cases of cervical cancer, as well as other conditions such as genital warts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that 11- and 12-year-old girls be targeted for this vaccine, as most girls of this age are not yet sexually active, have not yet been exposed to HPV, and will therefore achieve maximum protection.

The recommendation was not without controversy, with some parents objecting to the shot because they felt it might encourage sexual activity, or because they feared potential complications or side effects.

This study focused on anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reactions to the shot.

In 2007, Australia launched a government-funded vaccination program aimed at females aged 12 to 26. The study authors found a total of seven cases of allergic reactions out of almost 270,000 doses, a rate of 2.6 cases per 100,000 doses. (Patients are supposed to receive three doses of the vaccine in order to be protected.)

The allergic reactions included nausea, itchy red rash, difficulty breathing and other symptoms.

"These reactions were all potentially serious, meaning that if they were untreated, it is possible they could have progressed to become potentially life-threatening. However, all were rapidly recognized and treated with no serious effects resulting," Brotherton said.

Allergic reactions to vaccines aren't unusual, although they tend to be rare. It's not clear why the HPV vaccine might cause allergic reactions, Brotherton said.

The study authors did find that the rate of allergic reactions to the HPV vaccine was higher than the rates for other vaccines given at schools, including those for hepatitis B, diphtheria, measles, mumps and the flu. In some cases, the rate of allergic reactions to HPV was 5 times to 20 times as high as the rates for the other vaccines.

The results of the study need to be confirmed by other research, Brotherton said. It's possible that the researchers in the new study may have detected more cases of allergic reactions because they used a different definition of them, she said. It's also possible that the young women who got the vaccine may be more susceptible to problems than other groups of people who get vaccines, she said.

While the risk of allergic reactions shouldn't discourage use of the vaccine, health workers should be prepared to "rapidly detect and treat adverse events, including fainting, anxiety and immediate hypersensitivity reactions," wrote Dr. Neal A. Halsey of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a commentary accompanying the Australian study in the Canadian journal's Sept. 9 issue.

Some adolescents faint after getting the vaccine, he wrote, so health workers should monitor them for at least 15 minutes after vaccination and keep them sitting down if possible.

-Randy Dotinga

More information

Learn more about HPV from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Julia Brotherton, M.D., public health physician, National Centre for Immunization Research and Surveillance, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia. Sept. 9, 2008, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Last Updated: Sept. 02, 2008

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