Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Tetanus shot and lupus
    Cari46 posted:
    Does anyone know if you can have an adverse reaction from a tetanus shot with lupus? I've gotten several different answers from people, but though I would ask those "in the know" so to speak. I got the shot two days ago, and have been home sick in bed since with chills, fever and joint pain. I'd really appreciate some feedback on this.

    anowlin responded:
    I've had tetanus and flu an shots when I've had lupus. I've had no problem but a sore arm! Annie
    R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR responded:
    Immunization with vaccines that use live viruses will result in a lupus flare. However, polio, measles, and tetanus vaccines, which all use live viruses, have been given to hundreds of thousands of lupus patients with no adverse reactions.

    Having said that, Lupus patients may have adverse reactions to certain shots. These people will experience a lupus flare following this treatment. Some lupus patients may also experience difficulties after receiving tetanus vaccines. About 20% of patients with lupus may feel sick or achy for a few days following a vaccination. Often times the tetanus shot is combined with a pertusis vaccine and diptheria vaccine and together they are called DT or DPT. Pertusis vaccine in particular results in adverse effects as you have described.
    1stLadyDi replied to R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR's response:
    Having just read this post may probably explain why I'm feeling worse lately. I just had a tetanus shot after going to the ER because of a fall that I had. I experienced some injury to my right big toe, scrapes on the knee, and bruised ribs, knees, and elbows. The ER doctor had the nurse give me tetanus shot. The next couple of days I felt more achy than before. I just thought that this was a delayed impact from my fall. I did inform medical staff that I had Lupus. I also informed them that my last tetanus shot was 6 years ago. I wasn't diagnosed with Lupus until 2 years ago. Whatever the case, I hope that this ends soon. I'm having headaches now & joint pain all of which was eradicated, for the most part, since I've been on a low dose of Methotrexate.
    nancyj95 replied to 1stLadyDi's response:
    I, too am now thinking that is why I am feeling like I have sludge in my veins instead of blood. I was having a bit of a flare because of the awful heat and humidity for the past few weeks, but had a tetanus shot last week in preparation for a trip to China in October. Had a bad migraine last night in addition. Certainly glad I had it now, not nearer to the trip!
    anowlin responded:
    There can always be reactions to vaccines, like tenderness for a while at injection site, mild fever, redness or swelling at the injection site.

    However, those are not reasons not to get vaccinated; in fact, I just had tetanus (Tdap) yesterday and I've not had any problems. Ususally any side effects like that go away. None, the less, talk to your doctor about YOU SPECIFICALLY. I'd imagine if you've had a reaction to one vaccine in the past, you're more likely to h ave a reaction to another vaccine.

    If you have allergies to certain vaccines, don't set yourself up for another allergic reaction. Talk to your doc about hivrd to shortness of breath or swelling of the lips; THESE ARE TRUE REACTIONS and reason not to get the vaccination.
    R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR replied to 1stLadyDi's response:
    I hope things return to normal soon, in most cases your symptoms should subside after a few days after the vaccine.
    1stLadyDi replied to R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR's response:
    Thank you. My symptoms did subside about 5 - 6 days later.
    1stLadyDi replied to nancyj95's response:
    I hope you have a wonderful trip to China. If you don't mind me asking....What takes you there? Business, missions, vacation?... I hope you share when you return. I miss traveling overseas.
    nancyj95 replied to 1stLadyDi's response:
    It's my first big vacation overseas in a couple of years. As a single teacher I was able to travel extensively during the summer. Now retired, I have done some cruising, but still prefer seeing more on a vacation. Went to the Orient in 1972, before China was open, so never figured I'd get back. Two friends and I will be traveling to Beijing, Xi'an and Luoyang on a dream tour. I shall walk the Great Wall and see the Terracotta Warriors-real dreams! Working on getting myself in better shape right now.
    lupylisa44 replied to nancyj95's response:

    My cousin just got back from China, and all the places you mentioned. She said it was amazing! She would just start crying (from happiness and amazement) because it was all so beautiful!!! She has lots of pics from her trip and it looked pretty darn awesome!!!

    They had a great tour guide. They arranged for it If you want a recommendation, I can ask her which company she used and let you know. She was very happy with her guides for their entire 3 week adventure.

    With love, with patience and with faith, we'll make our way.

    With Lupus

    WebMD's Day2Night will help you develop personal coping strategies for living with lupus – at home,
    at work, or with family
    and friends.
    Visit Lupus Day2Night

    Helpful Tips

    Minimizing steroid side effectsExpert
    It is likely that most lupus patients will at some time be taking steroids to control some aspect of their disease. In order to minimize ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    79 of 110 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.