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Developed lump close to the injection site. Worried. What to do?

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Practicing since : 1982
Answered : 683 Questions
Dear doctor,
I have a 19 month old daughter named XXXXXXX We have been very regular in following her vaccination schedule. We have always opted for painless vaccines. She recently had her DTP booster vaccine for which we again opted for painless (Pentaxim) through a private doctor on Saturday 18-May-2013.
She did not have any fever, upset stomach or any other symptoms in the next 72 hours.

But we noticed on Sunday 19-May-2013 that she has developed a LUMP close to the location where the injection was delivered (on her left thigh). We called the doctor and she said that rub ice at the location.

It has been 5 days now and we have been rubbing ice at the location of the lump around once a day. But the lump is still there. It has not dissolved. I am worried if this lump may stay forever or we may have to remove it thru minor operation.

Please advise.
Posted Wed, 12 Jun 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 22 minutes later

Even the "painless" vaccine has almost the same components as the usual "painful" DPT vaccine; thus, although severe side-effects are not seen with the expensive vaccine, milder side-effects are seen. The lump that you see on your kid is one such mild side-effect. No amount of application of ice or warmth will make the lump go away, as it is the body's response (by inflammation) to the injection of a "foreign" substance. It will go away in about a month or a month and a half. No treatment is needed unless there is pain, redness or unless the child experiences difficulty in moving the leg. Leave it alone.

By the way, the words "painless" and "painful" are marketing terms - in the sense that it makes the paediatrician convince the parents more easily for a more expensive vaccine. Actually, the benefit is that SEVERE side effects like very high fever, excessive crying and fits are almost prevented with the expensive vaccine as it does not have "the whole cell pertussis bacillus" but a part of it that stimulates immunity but does not cause the same level of side effects.

Hope this helps.

Wishing your daughter a beautiful infancy and both of you great parenting.

- Dr Taher
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Developed lump close to the injection site. Worried. What to do? 9 hours later
Thank you doctor for your prompt and fast reply.
The lump on her left thigh is slightly red and a little swollen (like a mosquito bite).

When I apply external pressure at that point, it pains her. She starts getting irritated.

But there is no problem in her walking, running, standing or sitting activities.

Does that change any diagnosis?
Answered by Dr. Taher Kagalwala 3 hours later

It might be a good idea to start her on oral syrup Ibuprofen 2 ml three times a day. If you are in India, you may get Brufen, Flexon or Flamar syrups. If you are abroad, look for Brufen or Motrin Junior syrup.

Use this for a few days to relieve the pain. If the pain or swelling aren't better in 2-3 days, please take her back to the doctor for a review. On that visit, he may order a blood count to rule out infection, or simply add an antibiotic like co-amoxyclav to her treatment.

I hope this helps.

Get in touch with me if something bothers you ... Please allow a little time for me to log in and check on my incoming XXXXXXX again.

Dr. Taher.

P.S. If there is a pressing need to contact me, please call me on my cell phone number that is listed on the profile. I am based in the Middle East.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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