ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Disinfectants Can Boost Bacteria's Resistance to Treatment
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
FITNESS
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
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
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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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