" March 31, 2011 -- Parents worry a lot about vaccine risks and side effects, and most of them are questioning doctors about those concerns.
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M-M-R II Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
M-M-R II (measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine live) is a live virus vaccine for vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). This medication is available in generic form. Common side effects include pain/redness/swelling at the injection site, fever, or mild rash.
The dose of M-M-R II vaccine for any age is 0.5 mL administered subcutaneously, preferably into the outer aspect of the upper arm. The recommended age for primary vaccination is 12 to 15 months. M-M-R II may interact with steroids, medications to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders, or medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use, and all other vaccines you recently received. The M-M-R II vaccine is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Women should avoid becoming pregnant for 3 months after receiving the vaccine; consult your doctor. The rubella vaccine virus passes into breast milk. It is unknown if the measles or mumps vaccine virus passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our M-M-R II (measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine live) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
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 side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is Patient Information in Detail?
Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.
M-M-R II in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with measles, mumps, or rubella is much more dangerous to your 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 you have 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 you have any of these serious side effects:
- problems with hearing or vision;
- extreme drowsiness, fainting;
- easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
- seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
- high fever (within a few hours or a few days after the vaccine).
Less serious side effects include:
- redness, pain, swelling, or a lump where the shot was given;
- headache, dizziness;
- low fever;
- joint or muscle pain; or
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
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 entire detailed patient monograph for M-M-R II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
M-M-R II Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: joint pain/stiffness, muscle pain, numb/tingling skin.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, seizures, mental/mood changes (such as confusion).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US, you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for M-M-R II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
M-M-R II FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
The following adverse reactions are listed in decreasing order of severity, without regard to causality, within each body system category and have been reported during clinical trials, with use of the marketed vaccine, or with use of monovalent or bivalent vaccine containing measles, mumps, or rubella:
Body as a Whole
Hemic and Lymphatic System
Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or without an allergic history.
Arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), and polyneuritis are features of infection with wild-type rubella and vary in frequency and severity with age and sex, being greatest in adult females and least in prepubertal children. This type of involvement as well as myalgia and paresthesia, have also been reported following administration of MERUVAX II.
Chronic arthritis has been associated with wild-type rubella infection and has been related to persistent virus and/or viral antigen isolated from body tissues. Only rarely have vaccine recipients developed chronic joint symptoms.
Following vaccination in children, reactions in joints are uncommon and generally of brief duration. In women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children (children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%),17,52,53 and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent girls, the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult women. Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities.
Encephalitis; encephalopathy; measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE) (see CONTRAINDICATIONS); subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE); Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS); acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM); febrile convulsions; afebrile convulsions or seizures; ataxia; polyneuritis; polyneuropathy; ocular palsies; paresthesia.
Experience from more than 80 million doses of all live measles vaccines given in the U.S. through 1975 indicates that significant central nervous system reactions such as encephalitis and encephalopathy, occurring within 30 days after vaccination, have been temporally associated with measles vaccine very rarely.54 In no case has it been shown that reactions were actually caused by vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that “a certain number of cases of encephalitis may be expected to occur in a large childhood population in a defined period of time even when no vaccines are administered”. However, the data suggest the possibility that some of these cases may have been caused by measles vaccines. The risk of such serious neurological disorders following live measles virus vaccine administration remains far less than that for encephalitis and encephalopathy with wild-type measles (one per two thousand reported cases).
Post-marketing surveillance of the more than 200 million doses of M-M-R and M-M-R II that have been distributed worldwide over 25 years (1971 to 1996) indicates that serious adverse events such as encephalitis and encephalopathy continue to be rarely reported.17
There have been reports of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in children who did not have a history of infection with wild-type measles but did receive measles vaccine. Some of these cases may have resulted from unrecognized measles in the first year of life or possibly from the measles vaccination. Based on estimated nationwide measles vaccine distribution, the association of SSPE cases to measles vaccination is about one case per million vaccine doses distributed. This is far less than the association with infection with wild-type measles, 6-22 cases of SSPE per million cases of measles. The results of a retrospective case-controlled study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that the overall effect of measles vaccine has been to protect against SSPE by preventing measles with its inherent higher risk of SSPE.55
Cases of aseptic meningitis have been reported to VAERS following measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. Although a causal relationship between the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine and aseptic meningitis has been shown, there is no evidence to link Jeryl Lynn™ mumps vaccine to aseptic meningitis.
Special Senses - Ear
Nerve deafness; otitis media.
Special Senses - Eye
Retinitis; optic neuritis; papillitis; retrobulbar neuritis; conjunctivitis.
Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been established in healthy individuals (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). No deaths or permanent sequelae were reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R II during 1982 to 1993.56
Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, health-care providers and manufacturers are required to record and report certain suspected adverse events occurring within specific time periods after vaccination. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which will accept all reports of suspected events.47 A VAERS report form as well as information regarding reporting requirements can be obtained by calling VAERS 1-800-822-7967.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for M-M-R II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)
Additional M-M-R II 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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