Vioxx and vaccines
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MMR, Chicken Pox, Febrile Seizures, and Weighing the Potential Risks and Benefits of Vaccines

Febrile_seizures By Twyla Ramos

Seven years ago, my youngest daughter had a febrile seizure, at the age of 15 months.  She had come down with a bit of a cough, and then suddenly her fever rose, and then she began convulsing.  Nobody in our extended family had ever had a seizure.  She had never had such a high fever before, and our first two children had never had such high fevers.  It was quite scary.  We took her to the emergency room.  She was groggy and out of it for quite a while, and still feverish.  For a couple of weeks her fever kept rising, and she had a deep cough which was diagnosed as “croup”.  We were told that croup is caused by a viral infection that irritates the lungs. 

She had just had a “well baby” visit with our pediatrician a few days before the seizure.  When we went back for a follow up appointment after the seizure, I asked our pediatrician jokingly, “What did you do to our baby, anyway?”  Concern flashed across his face, but he smiled when he saw that I was just kidding.

Our two daughters are neurotypical – great conversationalists and excellent students, with lots of friends and wonderful involvement in many activities.  But, our son is autistic.  Because of his autism, I have read a lot in recent years about children’s adverse reactions to vaccines.  Although for the most part our son did not seem to react to vaccines, I often wondered whether the preservative thimerosal (which is 49.6% mercury) caused or at least contributed to his autism. 

Other vaccines have never contained thimerosal but do contain live viruses.  I have read stories about children regressing into autism after receiving the MMR vaccine -- often with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and/or seizure disorders.  I read Dan Olmsted’s articles about adverse vaccine reactions among some of the children who participated in recent trials of a vaccine incorporating both the MMR and the vaccine for chickenpox – a quadruple whammy with four live viruses.

But it was not until a few days ago that a light went on in my head and I suddenly wondered, what vaccines did my daughter receive at that well baby visit before her seizure seven years ago?  I have a copy of her vaccine record, and I contacted our insurance company to find out the date of her admission to the emergency room.  Four days before the seizure occurred, she received both the MMR and the vaccine for chicken pox at the same doctor’s appointment.

Back then I had total confidence in those who develop vaccines and decide on the recommended vaccine schedule.  I was so nonchalant, that I completely forgot that she had received the MMR and chicken pox vaccines at the same time.  Until now, it never even occurred to me that her seizure could have been related to her vaccines.  All these years, we wondered why a simple cold virus caused a febrile seizure.

Curious, I went to the CDC web site.  I clicked on “Vaccine Concerns” and then on “Febrile Seizures after MMR and DTP Vaccinations”.  I fully expected to hear the usual, “There’s no proof of a connection and don’t confuse coincidence with causation” baloney.  To my surprise, the CDC acknowledged that there is a risk of febrile seizures after both the DPT and the MMR.  They cited a study from the August 30, 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine entitled "The Risk of Seizures after Receipt of Whole-Cell Pertussis or Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine" by William E. Barlow and colleagues, and said:
 
“The study confirmed what was already known: DTP and MMR vaccinations can temporarily increase the risk for fever-related, or what are called ‘febrile,’ seizures… In this study, the number of fever-related seizures following DTP vaccination was six to nine per 100,000 vaccinated children. The number after MMR vaccine was 25 to 34 per 100,000 vaccinated children.”

I don’t know where those numbers came from, but I am sure that many vaccine reactions, such as my daughter’s, are not reported. 

The CDC reassured parents that febrile seizures are nothing to worry about: 

“Parents concerned about the link between childhood vaccinations and seizures need not worry, according to the results of this study. The study found that children who suffered rare fever-related seizures after getting DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccinations did not have an increased risk for subsequent seizures or neurodevelopmental (e.g., learning) disabilities…

“Fever-related seizures are the most common type of seizure that occurs during childhood. Fever-related seizures may happen with any condition that causes a high fever. Children who have fever-related seizures uniformly have an excellent prognosis. This study found that febrile seizures following vaccination had no long-term effects.”

I imagine that the reason why “Children who have fever-related seizures uniformly have an excellent prognosis” is because if they do encounter a problem, such as autism, their seizure is moved from the “febrile seizure” category to some other category, such as the “autism which is genetic and not caused by vaccines” category.

I went to another page on the CDC site called “Frequently Asked Questions about Multiple Vaccines and the Immune System”, where they said:

“Giving a child several vaccinations during the same visit offers two practical advantages. First, we want to immunize children as quickly as possible to give them protection during the vulnerable early months of their lives. Second, giving several vaccinations at the same time means fewer office visits, which saves parents both time and money and may be less traumatic for the child… Research is underway to find methods to combine more antigens in a single vaccine injection (for example, MMR and chickenpox). This will provide all the advantages of the individual vaccines, but will require fewer shots.”

So, the CDC acknowledges that the MMR alone can cause febrile seizures, but they say that febrile seizures are nothing to worry about, so they are planning to add the chicken pox virus to the MMR anyway.

On this page the CDC also state:

“No evidence suggests that the recommended childhood vaccines can ‘overload’ the immune system. In contrast, from the moment babies are born, they are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. Eating food introduces new bacteria into the body; numerous bacteria live in the mouth and nose; and an infant places his or her hands or other objects in his or her mouth hundreds of times every hour, exposing the immune system to still more antigens. An upper respiratory viral infection exposes a child to 4 to 10 antigens, and a case of ‘strep throat’ to 25 to 50.

“Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines, a 1994 report from the Institute of Medicine, states: ‘In the face of these normal events, it seems unlikely that the number of separate antigens contained in childhood vaccines ... would represent an appreciable added burden on the immune system that would be immunosuppressive.’”

Well, you know what?  This combination of four viruses did “overload” my strong, healthy toddler’s immune system. 

It’s natural to be exposed to a variety of microbes on a daily basis, but it is not natural to have those microbes injected directly into the bloodstream.  This totally bypasses the defense mechanisms in the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and respiratory system.  Moreover, have you ever heard of a case where someone came down with measles, mumps, chicken pox, and German measles simultaneously?   Surely that must be confusing and overwhelming to the immune system.

I went to the page on “Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and Measles Vaccine”.  In this section I read,

“Measles, mumps, or rubella (MMR) virus infection is not known to cause IBD. The virus that causes measles disease infects the respiratory system and then spreads to lymphatic tissue (an important part of our immune system).”

This supports my belief that my daughter’s “croup” was caused by the vaccine virus.  (I will not even try to address the statement regarding IBD, except to say that there is considerable evidence to the contrary.)

We are so fortunate that she did not suffer worse effects from having these four live viruses injected together at such a young age.  As far as we know, so far the only lasting effects of her exposure to multiple vaccines, containing various ingredients from mercury to aluminum to live viruses, were a tendency to get high fevers, prolonged coughs, and mild allergies, such as eczema when the weather is cold and dry.  All of this has lessened somewhat over time.

Parents often wonder about the disruptive effects of mercury and aluminum on the immune system and whether this contributes to high rates of asthma.  Now I wonder whether the injected MMR also contributes to over-sensitizing the lungs.

I am not anti-vaccine.  But I am in favor of making vaccines as safe as possible.  I am in favor of weighing the risks and benefits carefully.  As a child, my friends and siblings and neighbors and I all came down with measles, mumps, chicken pox, German measles, and whooping cough, and none of us suffered any lasting effects.  I know that rare complications are possible, but these illnesses are not like polio and smallpox.  How could the powers-that-be think that the risks of measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox justify cavalier disregard of the risk of febrile seizures, and of even worse consequences reported by many parents?

How can the CDC acknowledge the risk of febrile seizures but deny the reports of parents who describe febrile seizures followed by descent into autism?  Isn’t this just a matter of degree, and level of individual vulnerability?  Why are they considering adding another virus to the mix, instead of breaking the MMR up into three separate vaccines?

If I said, “My car’s brakes are making funny noises.  I better have them checked out before I drive anywhere,” would that mean that I am anti-cars?  If I said, “I’m flying across the country tomorrow, and I sure hope the airline has done a good job of maintenance and safety checks,” would that mean I am anti-airplanes?  Cars and airplanes are important for transportation, but we must make them as safe as possible.

My autistic son was injected with a Hepatitis B vaccine containing mercury on the day he was born, although he was not even at risk for Hepatitis B.  What kind of warped weighing of risks and benefits was involved in the decision to put that vaccine on the schedule for all newborns?  My son turned blue a while after receiving this vaccine, and was resuscitated by the hospital staff.  Was this a vaccine reaction?  We will never know.  But I do know that it was crazy for him to receive this shot a few hours after birth, when his liver and kidneys were not even fully functioning, and when he was not even at risk for this disease. 

It would make more sense to advise mothers to be tested for exposure to Hepatitis B, so that they would know whether their babies might be at risk.  Then they could decide whether the potential benefits of this vaccine outweigh the potential risks of injecting a newborn.  If some mothers make poor choices and don’t get tested, that is their decision.  But my baby should not be forced to get an unnecessary and risky shot just because some mothers who are positive for Hepatitis B will make what the CDC considers to be poor decisions.

Some say thimerosal has been removed from vaccines, except for flu shots and exports.  But I emailed the CDC to confirm something I had heard, and they emailed me back confirming it, saying:

“Thimerosal still may be used in the early stages of making certain vaccines. However, it is removed through a purification process.  When this process is complete, only trace, or insignificant, amounts of thimerosal are left (less than 0.3 mcg) and these amounts have no biological effect.”

I emailed them back, asking, “Does any government agency monitor and test to ensure that this purification process is effective, and that the final product contains only ‘less than 0.3 mcg’?  Or do the pharmaceutical companies have sole responsibility for the testing and monitoring of this?”  So far, I have not received an answer.

Comments

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LOvely

Hi. I'm 21 and due to my status here in USA for me to adjust my status, I have to get a shot for flu, mmr, varicella, tuberculosis test and blood test all in one visit. Right now I feel really groggy and tired. My doctor on my country said it is terrible to do that especially those are live viruses. Well I can't complain cause there is nothing I can do or the dOctor here in USA won't sign that I am healthy.

Julie Swenson

Twlya, MANY many thanks for your sweet and lovely comments and best wishes for my son- you strike me as such a caring, wonderful person- thank you for that!!! I also am so sorry that I didn't come back and see your responses to my comments!! Ok...soooo....I was in la-la land when I wrote that my son Xander had his 'first-birthday' shots in 2004...it actually was 2005 (he was born in Aug. 2004)--though for a lady who ultimately missed her first wedding anniversary due to a crappy memory (my own mom had to remind me!), this doesn't shock me all that much ;)…for the record, my husband also got the date of our first anniversary wrong,…. ironically, since the first anniversary gift is paper...can I turn in my son's paper vaccine schedule for one that doesn't force all those shots on him at once, lol. Gosh, I am quite embarrassed to admit my inaccuracy as to my son's first birthday--so, to date though, my pediatrician's office has not yet gotten back to me on his specific shots.

Please accept my apologies for not realizing you had written back to me..I truly appreciate your comments!

Twyla

Thank you, Dawn, for sharing your story. It sounds like your son is o.k. now? Thank goodness! I can't believe that doctors give the MMR and DPT together -- it's just insane! I shudder to think how much worse it could have been for my daughter if she had received other vaccines at the same time as the MMR and V -- such as a flu shot containing thimerosal which would be recommended now.

Best wishes to you and your family!

Dawn

Thank you Twyla for writing your story and all of the research you have done. My son, then 25 months old, also suffered a seizure 9 days after receiving both the MMR and DTaP vaccines. His seizure lasted 20 - 25 minutes. This was not a febrile seizure. He was healthy and not sick at all. He was evaluated in the ER with CT scan, normal. He followed up with a neurologist and completed an EEG with signs of benign rolandic seizures. I am not convinced that his one seizure wasn't brought on by the vaccines. I looked up seizures and MMR and was horrified at the stories from parents of children that were changed overnight or died after receiving these vaccines. I am blessed that my son was not one of the unlucky ones. I watched him seize, helpless. I watched as he was unable to clear his secretions, had I not been there keeping him on his side, he could have choked or aspirated. I am outraged at my pediatrician, who even upon my request to report this as an adverse event, did not report anything. The only consensus I could get from him, was that it is possible that giving the MMR or DTaP vaccine lowers the threshold for seizures, thereby making him more prone to having one. Seizures do not run in mine or my husbands family. I also found it interesting that the type of seizure my child has been diagnosed with aren't usually diagnosed until age 5 - 7 years when it peaks and then it resolves spontaneously in adolescence. It is interesting that a second dose of MMR is given age 4-5 and when I graduated high school I had to receive another MMR vaccine as my titers were too low to say I was immunized. Just my theory, but I believe these vaccines are causing problems and maybe there isn't a clear relationship, but to see and hear about children who were completely normal, then die in their sleep or wake up a different child says there is some sort of causal relationship. My other question that my pediatrician could not answer, is it possible that some of these children suffer from neurological problems from an anoxic brain injury, or lack of oxygen to the brain that occurs during these seizures? Thank you again for sharing your story and allowing me to express mine.

Twyla

P.S. to Julie S. -
I don't think the Proquad vaccine was out yet in 2004. And I don't believe it was ever widely used.

I wrote such a long comment that at the end I neglected to say -- thank you for writing, too, and very best wishes for better health for your son!

all the best,

Twyla

Twyla

Sandra -
It's just insane for pediatricians to give the MMR and DTaP together! It's crazy that any doctor believes this is o.k. and that the CDC allows it!

You may be interested in information about alternative vaccine schedules at www.generationrescue.org/vaccines.html .

I hope your daughter's fevers subside soon, and I wish her the very best of health. Thanks for writing, and very best wishes to you and your family.

Twyla

Twyla

Julie S. -
You asked, "Anyone know any more about the ProQuad and if it is still around?" Here are the results of a bit of Googling...

Drugs.com still lists info on ProQuad at www.drugs.com/proquad.html .

Wikipekia has a page on Proquad:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMRV_vaccine#cite_note-3

Per Wikipedia, "In May, 2007, the manufacturer Merck announced that, due to manufacturing problems in the chickenpox component, the Merck vaccine ProQuad is not available. In August 2007, Merck announced that they did not know whether ProQuad would be made available in 2008 due to an issue with its bulk manufacturing process, but their goal was to restore its availability as soon as possible."

Also from Wikipedia: "Rare but serious adverse events reported following ProQuad vaccination include allergic reactions, including swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; difficulty breathing or closing of the throat; hives; paleness; weakness; dizziness; a fast heart beat; deafness; long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness; permanent brain damage; seizures (jerking or staring) caused by fever; or temporary low platelet count. According to information from CDC, MMRV vaccine has been associated with higher rates of fever (up to about 1 person in 5) and measles-like rash (about 1 person in 20) compared with MMR and varicella vaccines given separately." This paragraph has a footnote linking to a CDC page, but the CDC page no longer lists Proquad or MMRV.

It seems that the manufacturer & agencies wanted to quietly stop making this vaccine with no admission of problems but just a vague mention of supply issues.

There is an updated "proposed package insert" put out by Merck in Feb. of 2008 at www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/p/proquad/proquad_pi.pdf This insert describes the study: "In 4 randomized clinical trials, 5446 healthy children 12 to 23 months of age were administered ProQuad, and 2038 children were vaccinated with M-M-R II and VARIVAX given concomitantly at separate injection sites." Great study -- Compare Proquad with MMR+Varicela vaccines to decide safety? Kind of like researching safety of mercury by comparing it with some other poison?

Also see www.pharmalot.com/2008/02/mercks-proquad-vaccine-linked-to-convulsions/ for Feb. 2008 update on studies showing higher rates of convulsions with Proquad.

Dan Olmsted wrote about this extensively. See www.ageofautism.com/2008/02/what-does-proqu.html . He started writing about Proquad two years earlier when he was with UPI. I'm not sure where is the best place to find his series of UPI articles. Here are links to a couple of them:

www.redorbit.com/news/health/473138/the_age_of_autism_pox__part_1/

www.redorbit.com/news/health/486623/the_age_of_autism_pox__part_3/

You also asked about breaking up the MMR. I think that the main reason it is so hard to get individual vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella is that this would imply there is a problem with the MMR. Denying problems seems to be the top priority in vaccine program administration, more important than the reduction of adverse events.

The reason often stated for not breaking up the MMR is that it is easier to get vaccine compliance if parents only have to bring their toddler in once to receive three vaccines instead of three times to receive the three vaccines. But, it seems that as more parents become unwilling to give their babies the MMR the authorities may need to offer the individual vaccines instead of taking the "all or nothing" approach.

Julie Swenson

Twyla,

my son was also injected with the Hep B vaccine on day three of his new life. I was not a carrier and he was not at risk...there was no reason for him to have had the shot. It's insane that babies are given this vaccine...simply insane. According to the sheet we got from the doc (my husband keeps EVERYTHINg, thank God) it states that the Hep B vax is SAFER than getting Hep B...and there are almost never any serious issues from it. I beg to differ.

Also this 'helpful' sheet of paper not only lists only 'soreness and mild to moderate fever as a side effect, but claims that serious issues are 'very rare'...well, go onto the VAERS site and it shows over 50 thousand adverse reactions- many of them serious--at least, serious in newborns!...also, this FLOORED me...nearly every other avderse reaction was due to 'product confusion' between the Hib and the Hep B..WTF?!

My son never had a febrile seizure- that I know of...but he was ultimately diagnosed with drop-seizures about a year after his MMR and chicken pox shots...not sure how closely related they are but our neuro said they were probably going on for a long time...his BIG downfall came after the mmr---but now I am also wondering if the DTaP also caused his drop-seizures....when I entered drop seizures into the VAERS, it did indeed come up.

Also, there was a vaccine called ProQuad that combined the MMR and Chicken Pox...it was only 'out' for a relatively short time before it was no longer available due to manufacturing issues with the varicella part. Anyone know any more about the ProQuad and if it is still around? My son got both the MMR and CP vaccine on his first birthday in august of 2004....they are listed seperately (MMR on one line, CP on another), but since it was in the timeframe that PQ was around (I think), it makes me wonder if he got it? I read that the chicken pox part was stronger in the PQ version. I've called and left a message with our ped's office, but no response so far.

Ok, going off subject here a bit...but does anyone else's immunization form for their kids show a section where the doc could write in when the MMR was broken up into single shots? If the document I have was a standard form, then why is it so difficult to get the MMR broken up? Why do docs constantly tell us that it's not possible to do it? Just how old are these forms anyway, lol. Just curious....sorry to hijack!

GREAT article!!!


Sandra

i came across your article looking for info on the DTap and MMR. My daughter too has had a 2 febrile seizures and I am over course trying to keep a third episode from occurring. So right now is my daughter is fighting a fever following a split (3 last week/3 this week) round of the vaccinations that included the shots you mentioned- you can imagine the attitude I got from her new pediatrician (unfortunately we moved) when I demanded that her vaccinations be split into at least two sessions - can you believe they wanted me to allow 6 shots?! I agree - why should attentive, proactive mothers have to pay for the sloppy care of other mothers - these shots are forced on all of us when we should be more like partners, with the doctors, in the care of our children. Great posting, thanks for the information. I am not anti-vaccine either... I believe in them... but I believe too that we should be more informed and more respected in their application to our children, as we, their primary care givers should be.

Twyla

An article in the December 2007 Life Extension magazine discusses concerns about acetominophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The article was written by Jay S. Cohen, MD, who is "professor of family and preventive medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Cohen is a nationally recognized expert on medications and their side effects. He has published books and medical journal articles and has spoken at major conferences and at the US Food and Drug Administration regarding the need for improved drug safety." His web site is www.MedicationSense.com.

The Life Extension article can be found at: http://search.lef.org/cgi-src-bin/MsmGo.exe?grab_id=0&page_id=6863&query=tylenol&hiword=tylenol%20

In the article, Dr. Cohen states that, "Even when used as directed, acetaminophen can lead to liver toxicity or death," and that, "Despite calls for better warnings, nothing has changed. Over the years, the FDA has intermittently voiced a desire to reduce the number of cases of acetaminophen toxicity... Since then, a large study has been published demonstrating that therapeutic doses of acetaminophen cause liver injuries in a substantial number of users, and has raised serious questions about the safety of therapeutic doses of acetaminophen."

"The tilt of the FDA will continue to be in favor of the drug industry. For years, the FDA has understaffed and underfunded its safety divisions. It has not been unusual for high-ranking FDA officials to approve new drugs despite serious concerns of FDA medical officers about the drugs’ safety. Indeed, just recently another article critical of the FDA was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (September 6, 2007), in which Dr. Sheila Weiss Smith concluded that the FDA’s actions once again underscored 'the low priority it assigns to its responsibility for arbitrating drug safety.'" (Sound familiar?)

The article states that some of the adverse reactions to acetaminophen are due to accidentally or purposely taking more than the recommended dosage. Sometimes this is due to not realizing that some prescription medications contain acetominophen (such as Vicodin®, Lorcet®, Lortab®, Maxidone®, Zydone®, Percocet®, Roxicet®, Fioricet®, and Darvocet-N®).

The chance of an adverse reaction is increased if the person is not eating (and/or not absorbing nutrients), e.g. due to an upset stomach.

"Given the potential risks of overusing acetaminophen, it is wise to use it sparingly, if at all. Those who have to take acetaminophen need to be aware of the factors that can increase the risks. These include taking acetaminophen while having three or more alcohol drinks a day, using multiple acetaminophen-containing products, or taking acetaminophen when you are unable to eat because of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, anorexia, malnutrition, or other causes of reduced nutrition. If your doctor prescribes a medication for pain, headache, or muscle tension, be sure to ask whether the drug contains acetaminophen. If you forget to ask your doctor, ask your pharmacist."

The article describes a case where, "Doctors were at first puzzled why a nine-month-old child had developed liver toxicity after only two days of therapeutic doses of acetaminophen. Laboratory analysis revealed that the child had a genetically determined glutathione deficiency, causing her glutathione activity to be only 5% of normal. Without adequate glutathione, standard doses of acetaminophen were toxic in this child. The case provides human evidence that markedly decreased glutathione activity, which can also be caused by fasting, increases the risk of acetaminophen liver toxicity in humans."

Since decreased levels of glutathione have been found in people with autism, this is another cause for concern. Of course, maldigestion and refusal to eat are also common among people with autism.

Thanks, Julie, for bringing this issue to our attention.


Julie

"I would rather give Motrin and Tylenol than see my child have ongoing febrile seizures. The emergency room staff and our pediatrician recommended this. Of course, they are fallible humans."

Twyla I do not want to argue this to death with you since we are on the same side. The point I am trying to make is this - are we (yes pediatricians included) focusing too much on short time respite treatments and ignoring long term repercussions of such treatments on our kids? My son began his seizures at 5 years, long after I had done many trials of alternating these lovely meds for fevers that would not subside no matter what I did.

Twyla

Julie -
I skimmed over the comment about toxicity not because I didn't notice it but because I do not feel qualified to comment on it. I also did not feel it necessary to repeat what you had said. You mention that this alternating routine was initally recommended in Israel for the first 24 hours only. That sounds like good advice. Usually with my daughter after the first 24 hours her fever would abate somewhat and she would sleep longer at night, and so receive fewer doses.

The article you cited states: "Physicians must remember that fever itself is not harmful and that the purpose of treating childhood fever is to make the child feel more comfortable, and not necessarily to reduce the temperature to normal." That may be good advice for kids whose fever does not spike to the point of causing a seizure, but if you have seen your child have a febrile seizure believe me you do not want it to happen again. I'm not a doctor and I cannot comment knowledgeably about the risks of febrile seizures. The CDC says they are harmless, but it seems to me there must be some risk of harmful effects.

The article goes on to say: "It is not advisable for physicians to recommend administering ibuprofen and acetaminophen together or as alternating doses, as this can be confusing to caregivers, potentially leading to incorrect dosing and increasing the risk of toxicity." This may be good advice for physicians, but as parents we can generally control whether we get confused.

"There is no scientific evidence to support the safety of these combinations and no evidence that the combination achieves faster antipyresis or has greater efficacy than either product alone. Ibuprofen has the advantage of less frequent dosing (6-8 hours vs 4 hours for acetaminophen) and has anti-inflammatory properties but it must still stand the test of time before being placed on an equal safety footing with acetaminophen." I have not researched studies to be able to agree or disagree with these statements, but this is not a strong condemnation of ibuprofen (the painkiller in Motrin) nor of the "safety of these combinations".

I do know that for my daugther Motrin worked better than Tylenol, and the combination worked better than Motrin alone. I know this from my own observations and taking her temperature.

I speak only from my experience. This is information to consider, in combination with information from other sources. We make the best choices we can for our children. I would rather give Motrin and Tylenol than see my child have ongoing febrile seizures. The emergency room staff and our pediatrician recommended this. Of course, they are fallible humans.

It is possible that some biomedical/alternative treatments could help the immune system get back on a more even keel. Certainly it would be better to address the core of the problem than to only deal with symptoms. But I am even less qualified to comment on medical treatments.

I share your concern regarding potential toxins, and I wish that alternative treatments would receive more attention from the mainstream medical establishments. In the meantime, we do what we can with what we have, and we make the best imperfect decisions that we can.

Twyla


Julie

Twyla, you picked up on the first part i.e., the fact that caregivers can get confused about which medicine to give next but I noticed you skimmed over the second part which was "increased toxicity because of giving the two medicines together."

Now see, you outlined the means by which you can get over the confusion aspect, you do it by writing down what you give when. I too am absolutely certain that I have never ever been confused over what I give my son when he is sick, if anything, its at that time that I am supervigilant. Your child's life is at stake here.

Now think about this, if there is a risk of toxicity from giving both of those medicines together, should you not mention the toxicity aspect first and THEN mention the confusion aspect? Or is the intention here to first throw a measure of guilt into the mix so that a parent can get so *confused* that he/ she might have done something wrong that they do not even read the rest of it. Notice that I wrote the warnings twice and you still missed it!!

I observe that a substantial measure of guilt and fear has been successfully imbedded into the psyche of the American public by mainstream medicine. If nothing else, we *have* to give them credit for being phenomenol shrinks. They are simply par excellence at that. For whatever its worth, its a strategy that has been serving them well. Why not milk it as long as you can?

Sandy Gottstein

Twyla,

I think, I hope, more and more are starting to listen now.

And you're welcome Twyla. Thank you.

Sandy

Twyla

Rose and Errin -
I am so sorry for what you are going through. In case it is of any help, here is what we found helpful with our daughter to help control her fever. Every child is different, and maybe you are already doing these things, but for what it is worth...

-- We alternated Motrin and Tylenol every three hours. Julie cautions that "caregivers can get confused about what medicine to give next". But you can just keep a log, such as: "10:00 Motrin / 1:00 Tylenol / 4:00 Motrin" etc. We would give Motrin first when her fever started going up because it worked better for her than Tylenol. But then the Tylenol helped tide her over until she could take Motrin again. (Or you can substitute Advil for Motrin.)

-- I would give her a cool/lukewarm bath as soon as her fever started going up. Not so cold as to give her chills, just a bit cool. Some people recommend sponge baths, but I found that actually putting her in a tub of water worked better. The Motrin by itself wouldn't slow down her fever as much as giving her Motrin and a bath. Her fever tended to go up most at night, so often I would give her another bath in the middle of the night.

-- Of course, she would wear shorts and a sleevless jersy - no warm clothes or blankets. And drink cool liquids.

-- She tended to get stubborn coughs that would hang on, especially coughing a lot at night. Cough syrup did not help much. What did help a lot was a humidifier. Just a simple $17 humidifier from the drug store -- fill to line with cool water and plug in -- the kind that does not heat up. For some reason that is what helped her cough the most of all. I worried that my autistic son would wake up during the night and tip it over, but he never did.

I have a friend whose son sometimes has febrile seizures, and her son throws up whenever she gives him Motrin or Tylenol, and he refuses to stay in the bath when he is sick. So, every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another!

Some children outgrow febrile seizures; my daugher does not have them any more. I hope that will be the case for yours! I also hope you may find a doctor who can help.

I wish you and your families all the very very best!!


Sandy, thanks for the interesting articles -- especially the school nurse testimony from 1999! Over 8 years later and the saga continues unabated! Isn't anyone listening?!?

Deborah

Noted that the Barlow study on febrile seizures is cited. Here is a review of that study: http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/?p=55

Basically Barlow compared the medical records of recently vaccinated and not so recently vaccinated children who were showing up with seizures. He got his background rate of seizures from the same population of children who were being vaccinated on the same schedule. Yeah. Right.

Sandy Gottstein

Twyla, I missed this earlier column by you. You and others might be interested in my Scandals columns concerning hepatitis B vaccine (and hepatitis b):
"For No Good Reason: The Utterly Misguided Universal Infant Hepatitis B Vaccination Policy" http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/Sept_20_02/Scandal34.htm
"The CDC and “The New Math”, where 1 + 1 does not equal 2"
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/March_29_02/Scandal10.htm
"But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last." - Thomas Moore (Scandals - update and "flashback")
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/2003/Mar_7/Scandal58.htm

And then there is this one from NVIC:
More Hepatitis B Vaccine Reactions Among Children Reported Than Cases Of the Disease - NVIC (Scandals "Flashback")
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/Aug_16_02/Scandal19.htm

Perhaps the most chilling and important one is this testimony from a school nurse given to Congress:
http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/Mar_8_02/Scandal7.htm

All the best,
Sandy

Julie

Rose I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it seems as though it is not a good practice to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen together. Just today I took my son to the pediatrician and on the wall was this 2001 referenced study that said that 1. caregivers can get confused about what medicine to give next and that could be bad and 2. there was something about toxicity.

To reiterate, this NEW study said that it is NOT a good idea to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen at the same time because the caregivers can get confused about which medicine to give next. Then there was something about increased toxicity for kids if they got both the medicines together. Evidently this alternating of medicines was first done in Israel for a fever during the first 24 hours only. Somehow, this was supposedly accepted as practice by pediatricians everywhere. It never ceases to amaze me as to how irresponsible they can get get about our children's health. What do you do when you find out that you were told to do this and did do this x number of years ago before you wisened up? I really wonder even today as to how many pediatricians even know this.

I tried to look up this particular study online and did not find it, but there was this other reference below:

http://www.utoronto.ca/kids/antipyretic.html

Rose

My daughter is 2 and a half and suffers from Febrile Seizures she is the only one out of my five children she gets high fevers all the time. Just before her first birthday she she had a febrile seizure and died the hospital the ER brought her back Thank God her fever went to 107.5 that was with her being on Motrin and tylenol. I have been saying for the longest time it was the vacination and people looked at me like I was nuts. The Doctors and Hospital just say she has Febrile I want to know why. My poor baby at one time was on the motrin and tylenol for 1 month straight My other concern is what about liver and kidney damage now how come she hasn't had any test for them It's not normal to have to be on all that medication around the clock. I and my husband have such a fear that she is going to die when she gets sick we stay up around the clock with her. Also one time her body temp dropped so much she went into hyperthermia she was shivering and turning blue I thought she was having another seizure until I felt how cold she was like (ice)her doctor said to lay down with her and cover her with a lot of blankets to bring her body temp up her temp did go up thank God but I went on line to look up her body temp reading and if it would of dropped one more degree she could of died or lost all her lung, liver and so on functions I should of brought her to the hospital that happened in the summer and I don't have AC she was having fevers and then that happened. The tylenol seems to not work on her any more it raises her temp and now I'm a nervous reck what happens when the motrin stops working. Please any advice anyone I am getting a second opinion.

Joan

I am concerned about my young grandson (just 1yr old) He is sick after receiving his mmr and chickenpox shots.. Thank you for your info...

Erinn

Very informative, thank you so much for writing this. I have been worried about the effects of vac's on my daughter as far as autism and made sure her immunse system was in no way compramised(with a cold etc.) when vaccinated. However, I had no idea that they could lead to febrile siezures. She has now had 5 FB's in her short 17mo life. I have read that the more FB's you have makes you even more predisposed to becoming epileptic and or autistic. I have also read that just one FB can make you more prone to respiratory problems such as asthma and pneumonia.
Since her 12mo vac's, she has had a cough and repiratory infections that last for months, now she has pneumonia and with this last bout had two febrile seizures in less than 12 hours. I'm not planning to put any more live viruses into my child, I think her immune system has been overloaded and compramised.
Again, thank you.
-Erinn

jade hart

is MMR a bacteria or virus?

Moira

Thank you for writing - this is fantastic. I have always felt that there was faulty logic at work regarding the risks and benefits of vaccines and your article clarifies this perfectly.

Thank you again.

Moira

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