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Hi, I Have Been Having Severe Headaches Since January 12,

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Posted on Thu, 23 Jun 2022
Question: Hi, I have been having severe headaches since January 12, 2022, when I had my covid19 Pfizer vaccine 1st dose shot so today I saw a doctor who said he thinks I have a bad sinus infection and started me Zithromax and Prednisone 20 mg twice a day for a few days. I am due to have my second dose on 2/2/2021 but wanted to know should I wait to have my next shot, or will it not interfere with anything since I'm on the new medicine? I have not started the new medicine yet. Waiting for response before starting them. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (5 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You should get the vaccination

Detailed Answer:
Hello, I'm Dr. Branch, thanks for using 'Ask a Doctor'. Currently it is generally recommended to go ahead and get the vaccination even if you are on steroids. The steroids may weaken the immune response a little, but it is considered better not to delay getting the vaccine for this reason. Also, the antibiotic or having a sinus infection should not affect the vaccine at all. If you are able to finish or stop the steroids before you get the vaccine, that would be all the better. Generally steroids are not absolutely necessary for a sinus infection, so if you are able to contact the doctor who prescribed the steroids to ask, that might be worthwhile. If not, I would probably just stop taking the steroids, and instead use a nasal steroid spray (such as Flonase, which is over the counter).

I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any other questions about that, and I would be glad to discuss it with you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch (35 hours later)
I'm planning on not taking the steroid but continue the antibiotic. I have three more days on the Zithromax and my Pfizer vaccine 2nd shot is due this Wednesday 2/2/2022. When is the longest that I can safely hold off on the shot and still have all the necessary protection? Are you sure I should have no problems with taking the shot while on the antibiotic? I have started to feel nauseous and slight diarrhea. I think the antibiotic is causing this. I really want to stop the antibiotics as well. Don't know what to do???/ My girlfriend said I should 4reschedule the shot for a week later.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (2 days later)
Brief Answer:
You can get the vaccine later

Detailed Answer:
Sorry for the delay, I hope you get this in time to help. There is no known length of time that you could wait and the second shot wouldn't give full protection, even waiting as long as 12 weeks didn't hurt, and might even give more protection. Of course, until you get the 2nd shot you aren't fully protected, so you should get it as soon as possible. You should not have any problems getting the shot while on the antibiotic. It is possible that the antibiotic is causing GI upset, which is fairly common. I would suggest finishing the course of antibiotics, but if you stopped it likely wouldn't be a big deal, though you may need to get on another antibiotic, since it is unlikely to fully treat your infection assuming you had a bacterial sinus infection.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, I'd be glad to help any way I can.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch (4 days later)
Hi, I went to the doctor on the 29th of January complaining of severe headache, body fatigue etc and at the urgent care they gave me a covid test that came back negative. He also gave me zpack because he felt I might have a sinus infection. Came Monday I still wasn't feeling the greatest, so I went to see my private doctor on Wednesday, and she did not take a covid test, but she did give me prednisone and another antibiotic to take. I started the antibiotic but not the prednisone. Last night I started for the first time having a really bad sore throat, so I decided today which is 2/5/22 to take a home covid test and it says, I'm positive. I have loose stool but not diarrhea, no fever as of now and I'm trying to find out what should I do...... I have had 1 Pfizer vaccine shot already and I'm due for my 2nd shot this week. What do I need to be watching or become alarm about? Should I go back to urgent care now and see if they can do something for me or what? I'm truly lost now... I do have high blood pressure, hypothyroidism and elevated blood sugars and cholesterol at times. My pulse is running really high at a resting period 111 I may be dehydrated because I've had no desire to drink.... My blood pressure was 116/84 pulse 111. Listen, what can I do? Do you think I should try and get the antibodies since I'm considered high risk and if so, what concerns should I have about getting them? Like what's the pros and cons. I truly don't know what to do. Like should I try to fight this virus without the antibody support or not? Please help....Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (2 days later)
Brief Answer:
Symptomatic care

Detailed Answer:
Sorry again for the late reply, I didn't see your response until today, I hope this doesn't come too late. Basically it sounds like you likely had COVID since at least the 29th of January, and just didn't test positive yet. So that would mean you are 11 days into the illness. Most of the COVID treatments we have should be given within 5-7 days of illness, so I don't think those would be beneficial for you now. So the only thing to do now is to wait to recover naturally from it. The main symptom to watch out for is shortness of breath, so if you find yourself having to stop when you walk or go up stairs to catch your breath, you should call your doctor or be seen. Otherwise you can take Tylenol for the sore throat, headache, fever, or any other aches. Most likely you will recover from this fine but again the main thing to watch out for is shortness of breath.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, I'd be glad to help any way I can.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch (3 hours later)
Dr. Branch, I have been so confused And angry because depending on whomever you talk to your told something different every time. I can't eat and I'm only able to drink little bits of water not a much as I would like. I think right now I'm really just going through alot of anxiety. Let's say I did have it since the 29th even though they said it was a sinus infection. Is there a way to tell when I will be out of harms way of it attacking my internal organs? The Dr today keeps wanting to do the Sotrovimab IV procedure on me to protect my organs I guess but I don't know if it makes sense at this point to do it. He said he's using the date of my positive test since the two other test all showed negative and day was 2/5/22 so he wants to do it on Friday. I just don't know what to do..... either to ride it out and rest and eat or to just go ahead and do the procedure....it's alot to digest..... in the beginning I was very ill but now I'm feeling better not 100 percent but definitely better. Any good advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
I would take the treatment

Detailed Answer:
If your doctor is saying you can get the treatment, I would go ahead and get it. The likelihood of benefit may not be high, but the side effects from the treatment are very low, so overall I think it would be reasonable to get it. It's possible you got COVID on top of the illness you already had at the end of January, but in my opinion it is unlikely, and especially with your description of the headache and fatigue, that would be typical for COVID, and it is known that it takes time for the test to turn positive, depending on what kind of test they did at the urgent care (was it PCR or antigen?). So I don't think it is really a big deal whether you get it or not, but if your doctor is willing to give it, I don't think that will hurt, and maybe it will help.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can explain anything else, I would be glad to do so.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch (55 minutes later)
The test was a nose swab at the urgent care. I really don't like the ideal of putting all these extra things into my body but if you think it may help to get the antibodies then I'm willing to get them. I'm just thinking of I did get it on the 29th then would it be safe to say that I should be on the end of the virus now or no? If so, how will I know if it has or will hit my enternal organs by now? Or, am I still in danger of it taking over my organs? I just need the truth so I will know how to respond to things. Blood tests were taken today as well. How much Zinc should i be taking now and vitamins etc as well? Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
I would expect that you will continue to improve

Detailed Answer:
Yes, assuming you did have COVID symptoms on the 29th, it would be most likely that you are in the recovery phase of the illness, if you are now improving. Typically patients who have serious lung issues with COVID will start to have problems about a week after symptoms start, so the fact that you are past that point and improving is a good sign. I would try not to worry. The Omicron variant has not been as severe as the previous variants, and fewer patients are having serious issues; most likely you are going to recover without any problems. I am surprised your doctor wants to give the Sotrovimab, as most of the places I have been don't have it, and I would have thought they would use it for higher risk patients or patients who started having symptoms for less than 5 days, but if it is available to you, I would take it, and it may be your doctor sees something else in your medical history that makes them think there may be more benefit than what I'm aware of. I wouldn't worry about the vitamins, there is no good evidence that will make a difference, but if you want to take a normal supplement (multivitamin), that should be enough.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Aaron Branch (23 hours later)
Yes, it has been offered to me but I'm well over 10 days with first symptoms so how will it help me? I honestly don't know what to do? I just know that I want to be well soon because this driving me crazy. When will I be able to get my 2nd vaccine because I was due to get in the same week I got sick and they said I could not take it. My husband also has COVID but he is fully vaccinated and boosted and doing really well. Dr. Branch what can I do at this point because I'm really started to stress over what should be done. Do you think I'm out of danger now with my organs or not yet? I keep getting something that feels like zaps across my chest but the dr thinks it's anxiety. I don't know if I'm convinced that's what it is...... Just please tell me moving forward what do I need to do? Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Aaron Branch (36 hours later)
Brief Answer:
You should be fine

Detailed Answer:
I don't think you really need to take the treatment if you don't want to, and if you haven't taken it at this point, I would say it is very unlikely to help, so you could pass on it at this point. Once you have recovered from the illness you can get your 2nd shot of the vaccine. I do think you are out of danger now and should recover fine, I wouldn't be worried too much, and agree that most likely anxiety is making your symptoms seem worse. So I would just try not to worry, and I would expect your symptoms to continue to improve and resolve over the next week or so, though of course it is possible to have some symptoms for a long time, but I would say you shouldn't have any serious issues from here on out.
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Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Aaron Branch

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 1221 Questions

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Hi, I Have Been Having Severe Headaches Since January 12,

Brief Answer: You should get the vaccination Detailed Answer: Hello, I'm Dr. Branch, thanks for using 'Ask a Doctor'. Currently it is generally recommended to go ahead and get the vaccination even if you are on steroids. The steroids may weaken the immune response a little, but it is considered better not to delay getting the vaccine for this reason. Also, the antibiotic or having a sinus infection should not affect the vaccine at all. If you are able to finish or stop the steroids before you get the vaccine, that would be all the better. Generally steroids are not absolutely necessary for a sinus infection, so if you are able to contact the doctor who prescribed the steroids to ask, that might be worthwhile. If not, I would probably just stop taking the steroids, and instead use a nasal steroid spray (such as Flonase, which is over the counter). I hope that helps, please let me know if you have any other questions about that, and I would be glad to discuss it with you further.