pertussis - diptheria - tetanus vaccine (adults)

By sanofi-aventis

What side effects are possible with this medication?

A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. A side effect may be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, but does not occur in everyone. Not everyone will experience side effects, and which side effects a person experiences cannot be anticipated.

The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. If you develop any of these side effects (or any other side effects not listed here) or they change in intensity, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on managing them and on the risks and benefits of the medication.

  • body ache or muscle weakness
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
  • headache
  • nausea
  • rash
  • redness, swelling, tenderness, pain, or lump at place of injection
  • sore and swollen joints
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • tiredness
  • vomiting
Click here to learn about serious side effects that can potentially occur with any medication. These examples are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to be exhaustive. Always consult your doctor for sound medical advice specific to your particular medication and treatment.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone at 1-800-332-1088.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Be sure to inform your doctor of all your medical conditions before you begin taking a medication. Some conditions can affect how you should take this medication.

Bleeding problems: Since this vaccine is injected into a muscle, it should not be given to people with bleeding problems or to people taking anticoagulant therapy unless the benefits outweigh the risks.

Guillain-Barre syndrome: If Guillain-Barre syndrome occurred within 6 weeks of a previous tetanus vaccine, the decision to give future doses should take into account the benefits and risks.

Immune system: As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not be as effective for people with a weakened immune system (such as those on chemotherapy, people who have had an organ transplant, people with HIV, people with cancer, people receiving radiation, or people taking corticosteroids).

Previous reactions: Giving this vaccine should be carefully considered if any of the following occurred with previous pertussis-containing vaccines:

  • fever of 105°F or more within 48 hours and not due to another cause
  • collapse or shock within 48 hours
  • persistent, inconsolable crying lasting longer than 3 hours within 48 hours
  • seizures within 3 days of the vaccine

People who have experienced a severe local reaction with other symptoms after a tetanus vaccine should not be given emergency doses of tetanus vaccine more than every 10 years.

Vaccine protection: As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not protect 100% of people who receive it.

Pregnancy: This vaccine should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you discover you were pregnant at the time of vaccination, contact your doctor.

Breast-feeding: It is not known if this vaccine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are to receive this vaccine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this vaccine have not been established for children less than 11 years of age.

Seniors: The safety and effectiveness of this vaccine has not been studied in people older than 65 years of age.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

An interaction between medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. The following medications may affect the way this vaccine works, be affected by this vaccine, or increase the risk of side effects:

  • alkylating agents
  • antimetabolites
  • corticosteriods
  • cytotoxic drugs
  • immunosuppressive therapy (e.g., some medications used for the treatment of cancer or for transplant recipients)

If you are taking any of these or other medications (including non-prescription, herbal, and supplement products), speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want to change your therapy or may suggest ways of managing any interactions. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your doctor know if you use them. Medications other than those listed above may also interact with this medication.

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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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