"Rubella is usually mild in children. But for some peopleā”especially pregnant women and their babiesā”rubella can be serious. Make sure you and your child are protected from rubella by getting vaccinated on schedule.
(pronounced “em em ar too”)
Generic name: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live
This is a summary of information about M-M-R II*. You should read it before you or your child receives the vaccine. If you have any questions about the vaccine after reading this leaflet, you should ask your health care provider. This is a summary only. It does not take the place of talking about M-M-R II with your doctor, nurse, or other health care provider. Only your health care provider can decide if M-M-R II is right for you or your child.
What is M-M-R II and how does it work?
M-M-R II is also known as Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live. It is a live virus vaccine that is given as a shot. This vaccine is usually given to people one year old or older. It is meant to help prevent measles (rubeola), mumps, and rubella (German measles).
M-M-R II contains weakened forms of measles virus, mumps virus, and rubella virus.
M-M-R II works by helping the immune system protect you or your child from getting measles, mumps, or rubella.
M-M-R II may not protect everyone who gets the vaccine. M-M-R II does not treat measles, mumps, or rubella once you or your child has them.
What do I need to know about measles, mumps, and rubella?
Measles is also known as rubeola. It is a serious illness. Measles virus can be passed to others if you have it. Measles can give you a high fever, cough, and a rash. The illness can last for 1 to 2 weeks. In rare cases, it can also cause an infection of the brain. This could lead to seizures, hearing loss, mental retardation, and even death.
Mumps can also be passed to others. This virus can cause fever and headache. It also makes the glands under your jaw swell and be painful. The illness often lasts for several days. Sometimes, mumps can make the testicles swell and be painful. In some cases, it can cause meningitis, which is a mild swelling of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord.
Rubella is also known as German measles. It is often a mild illness. Rubella virus can cause a mild fever, swollen glands in the neck, pain and swelling in the joints, and a rash that lasts for a short time. It can be very dangerous if a pregnant woman catches it. Women who catch German measles when they are pregnant can have babies who are stillborn. Also, the babies may be blind or deaf, or have heart disease or mental retardation.
Who should not get M-M-R II?
Do not get M-M-R II if you or your child:
- are allergic to any of its ingredients (This includes gelatin or neomycin. See the ingredient list at the end of this leaflet.);
- have a weakened immune system, such as an immune deficiency, an inherited immune disorder, leukemia, lymphoma, or HIV/AIDS;
- take high doses of steroids by mouth or in a shot;
- have a fever higher than 101.3°F (38.5°C);
- are pregnant or plan to get pregnant within the next three months.
What should you tell your health care provider before getting M-M-R II?
Tell your health care provider if you or your child:
- have or have had any medical problems;
- have a history of seizures or a brain injury;
- have received blood or plasma transfusions or human serum globulin;
- have active tuberculosis that is not treated;
- take any medicines (This includes non-prescription medicines and dietary supplements.);
- have any allergies (This includes allergies to neomycin or gelatin.);
- had an allergic reaction to any other vaccine;
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant within the next three months;
- are breast-feeding;
- have or have had a low blood platelet count;
- are allergic to eggs.
How is M-M-R II given?
M-M-R II is given as a shot to people one year old or older. The dose of the vaccine is the same for everyone. If your child gets the shot when he or she is one year old or older, a second dose is recommended. Often, the second dose is given right before the child goes to elementary school (4 to 6 years of age). If your child is less than one year old when he or she first gets the shot, a second dose should be given when they are 12 to 15 months old. Then, a third shot should be given between 4 and 6 years of age. Your doctor will decide the best time and number of shots by using official recommendations.
If a dose is missed, your health care provider will let you know when you should have it.
Non-pregnant adolescent and adult females of childbearing age who are susceptible to rubella can be vaccinated with M-M-R II (or live attenuated rubella virus vaccine) if certain precautions are taken. In many cases, it is convenient to give the vaccine to women at risk for rubella right after they give birth.
What are the possible side effects of M-M-R II?
The most common side effect of vaccination with M-M-R II is burning and/or stinging at the site of the shot for a short time.
Other side effects may include:
Less common side effects may also include:
- Swelling of the testicles
- Joint pain and/or swelling
Some side effects are rare but may be serious. You should call your health care provider if you notice any of the following problems:
- Difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, or a skin rash may be signs of an allergic reaction.
- Bleeding or bruising under the skin.
- Seizures, a severe headache, or a change in behavior or consciousness.
Other side effects may also occur. Your doctor has a more complete list of side effects for M-M-R II.
Contact your doctor or health care provider if you or your child have any new or unusual symptoms after receiving M-M-R II.
You may also report any adverse reactions to your doctor or your child's health care provider or submit a report directly to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The VAERS toll-free number is 1-800-822-7967 or you may report online to www.vaers.hhs.gov.
What are the ingredients of M-M-R II?
Active Ingredients: weakened forms of the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses.
Inactive Ingredients: sorbitol, sodium phosphate, potassium phosphate, sucrose, sodium chloride, hydrolyzed gelatin, recombinant human albumin, fetal bovine serum, other buffer and media ingredients, neomycin.
What else should I know about M-M-R II?
If you get M-M-R II while you are pregnant, please call 1-800-986-8999. Or, you can have your health care provider call.
This leaflet summarizes important information about M-M-R II.
If you would like more information, talk to your health care provider or call 1-800-622-4477. Rx Only Issued November 2013
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/11/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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