"For parents, childhood vaccines are a source of reassurance -- protecting your child against disease naturally helps you sleep better at night -- but also anxiety about side effects and reactions.
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- Clinician Information:
Decavac Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Decavac)?
- What are the possible side effects of this vaccine (Decavac)?
- What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine (Decavac)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine (Decavac)?
- How is this vaccine given (Decavac)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Decavac)?
- What happens if I overdose (Decavac)?
- What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine (Decavac)?
- What other drugs will affect tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Decavac)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine (Decavac)?
You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing diphtheria or tetanus, or if you have:
- severe or uncontrolled epilepsy or other seizure disorder; or
- if you have received cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the past 3 months.
You may not be able to receive this vaccine if you have ever received a similar vaccine that caused any of the following:
- a very high fever (over 104 degrees);
- a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain;
- fainting or going into shock;
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (within 6 weeks after receiving a diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis vaccine);
- seizure (convulsions); or
- a severe skin reaction.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor if you have:
- a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
- a history of seizures;
- a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine);
- an allergy to latex rubber;
- a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
- if you are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.
Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and 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 diphtheria or tetanus.
It is not known whether this vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use receive the vaccine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
The adult version of this vaccine (Td) should not be given to anyone under the age of 7 years old. Another vaccine is available for use in younger children and infants.
How is this vaccine given (Decavac)?
This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.
The tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given to a person who is at least 7 years old. The booster shots are then given 4 to 8 weeks after the first shot, and 6 to 12 months after the second shot. After the initial series, a booster dose is given every 10 years.
A booster shot is also recommended in children who are 11 or 12 years old if more than 5 years have passed since the child's last tetanus and diphtheria vaccine.
If it has been longer than 5 years since your last booster, you may need an emergency booster shot if you have been exposed to tetanus through a skin wound.
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 you live in.
Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to take.
It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring if you have a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.
Additional Decavac Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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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