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- Once initiated, rabies prophylaxis should not be interrupted or discontinued because of local or mild systemic adverse reactions to rabies vaccine. Usually such reactions can be successfully managed with anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, and antipyretic agents.11
- Reactions after vaccination with HDCV have been observed.13 In a study using five doses of HDCV, local reactions such as pain, erythema, swelling or itching at the injection site were reported in about 25% of recipients of HDCV, and mild systemic reactions such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, and dizziness were reported in about 20% of recipients.8
- Serious systemic anaphylactic or neuroparalytic reactions occurring during the administration of rabies vaccines pose a dilemma for the attending physician. A patient's risk of developing rabies must be carefully considered before deciding to discontinue vaccination. Moreover, the use of corticosteroids to treat life-threatening neuroparalytic reactions carries the risk of inhibiting the development of active immunity to rabies. It is especially important in these cases that the serum of the patient be tested for rabies antibodies. Advice and assistance on the management of serious adverse reactions in persons receiving rabies vaccines may be sought from the local or state health department.8
- SEE WARNINGS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS SECTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS.
Data from post-marketing experience
The following additional adverse events have been identified during postapproval use of Imovax Rabies vaccine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to Imovax Rabies vaccine exposure.
Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders
Immune System Disorders
Nervous System Disorders
Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions
Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders
Read the Imovax (rabies vaccine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Corticosteroids, other immunosuppressive agents or treatments, and immunosuppressive illnesses can interfere with the development of active immunity and predispose the patient to developing rabies. Immunosuppressive agents should not be administered during post-exposure therapy, unless essential for the treatment of other conditions. When rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is administered to persons receiving steroids or other immunosuppressive therapy, it is especially important that serum be tested for rabies antibody to ensure that an adequate response has developed.11
8 CDC. Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP). Rabies Prevention-United States, 1984. MMWR. 1984 Jul 20;33(28):393-402, 407-8.
11 Manning SE, Rupprecht CE, Fishbein D, Hanlon CA, Lumlertdacha B, Guerra M, et al. Human rabies prevention - United States 2008: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR. 2008 May 23;57(RR-3):1-28.
13 CDC. Systemic allergic reactions following immunization with human diploid cell rabies vaccine. MMWR. 1984 Apr 13;33(14):185-7.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/19/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Imovax Information
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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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