ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Protect Your Kids From Swine Flu While at Camp
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
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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