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BioThrax

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BioThrax

BioThrax

BioThrax Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving anthrax vaccine (BioThrax)?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to an anthrax vaccine, or if you have ever had anthrax disease acquired through the skin.

Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of vaccine, or if you have:

  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS), or by taking certain medicines;
  • a history of infection with anthrax;
  • a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome;
  • if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; or
  • if you have received cancer chemotherapy, radiation treatment, or steroid medications in the past 3 months.

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or mild fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a high fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Vaccines generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with anthrax.

How is anthrax vaccine given (BioThrax)?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) under the skin. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

Anthrax vaccine is recommended for adults in the following situations:

  • people who handle anthrax bacteria in a laboratory or other work setting;
  • people who handle animal hides or furs imported from areas where anthrax is common;
  • people who handle meat or other animal products in areas where anthrax is common;
  • veterinarians who travel to countries where anthrax is common; and
  • military personnel at risk of exposure through potential biological warfare when anthrax may be used as a weapon.

The anthrax vaccine is given in a series of 6 shots. The first 3 shots are given 2 weeks apart. The following three 3 shots are given 6, 12, and 18 months after the first shot. An annual booster shot is then recommended every year during possible exposure to anthrax. Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state where you live.

You may receive anthrax vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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