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Is a spinal tap safe, or are there side effects?

ANSWER

As with most tests, there are a few risks. They’re minor and include:

  • Headache. About 10% of people get one that gets worse when you sit or stand and feels better instantly when you lie down. If you get one, lie down as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Infection. The risk is very low.
  • Bloody tap. Sometimes the tap may pierce a small blood vessel, so blood mixes with the CSF. You won’t need treatment for it, but you may need another spinal tap later to get a "clear" sample.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on February 03, 2019

Medically Reviewed on 02/03/2019

SOURCE: 

National MS Society.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on February 03, 2019

SOURCE: 

National MS Society.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on February 03, 2019

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When should I call my doctor immediately after a spinal tap?

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