Recommended Topic Related To:

Diptheria and Tetanus

"During the past several months, we at CDC have been working hard to take steps to increase HPV vaccination coverage among 11-12 year olds, including actively communicating with clinicians and parents about the benefits and safety of this cance"...

Diphtheria and Tetanus

Diphtheria and Tetanus Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Diphtheria-Tetanus Toxoids, Pediatric (DT)

Generic Name: diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine (DT, pediatric) (Pronunciation: dif THEER ee a TET a nus TOX oids)

What is diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine (Diphtheria and Tetanus)?

Diphtheria and tetanus are serious diseases caused by bacteria.

Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat, and airways. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death.

Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases.

Diphtheria is spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound.

The diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine (also called DT) is used to help prevent these diseases in children who are ages 6 weeks to 6 years old, before the child has reached his or her 7th birthday.

This vaccine works by exposing your child to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Like any vaccine, the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What are the possible side effects of this vaccine (Diphtheria and Tetanus)?

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with diphtheria or tetanus is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if the child has a serious side effect such as:

  • extreme drowsiness, fainting;
  • severe headache or vomiting;
  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;
  • confusion, seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
  • high fever.

Less serious side effects include:

  • redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, or a hard lump where the shot was given;
  • mild fever;
  • mild fussiness or crying;
  • joint pain, body aches;
  • mild drowsiness; or
  • mild vomiting.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

Read the Diphtheria and Tetanus (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine (Diphtheria and Tetanus)?

The diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 18 months of age. A fifth booster dose is given between 4 and 6 years of age.

Your child's booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

The pediatric version of this vaccine (DT) should not be given to anyone over the age of 6 years old. Another vaccine is available for use in older children and adults.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine. Your child may not be fully protected against disease if he or she does not receive the full series.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with diphtheria or tetanus is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Side Effects Centers
A A A

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.


Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Health Resources
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations