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RotaTeq Side Effects Center
Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Rota Teq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) Oral Solution is a vaccine used to help prevent rotavirus infection in babies ages 6 to 32 weeks. Common side effects of Rota Teq include crying or mild irritability. Call your doctor immediately if your child experiences serious side effects such as seizure, severe diarrhea, high fever, redness of skin or eyes, pain in their stomach or chest, or pain while urinating.
The Rota Teq vaccination consists of three doses given throughout a 4 to 10 week interval with the third dose given before the child is 32 weeks old. Rota Teq should not be given to your child while they have a severe illness, a history of intestinal problems, or have a weak immune system. Rota Teq may interact with other drugs including medication that can weaken the immune system such as a steroid medication, chemotherapy, medications to treat psoriasis or medication to prevent organ transplant rejection. Always wash your hands after handling the diapers of a child who has been given Rota Teq. This drug is not indicated for women who are of child bearing age and should not be given to a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
Our Rota Teq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) Oral Solution 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.
RotaTeq in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects
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 dose caused any side effects. Becoming infected with rotavirus 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 the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if the child has a serious side effect such as:
- seizure (black-out or convulsions);
- severe or ongoing diarrhea;
- dark red stools;
- fever, chills, cough with yellow or green mucus;
- stabbing chest pain, chest tightness, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
- stomach pain, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting;
- ear pain, swelling, or drainage;
- runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
- pain or burning when you urinate; or
- high fever, redness of the skin or eyes, swollen hands, peeling skin rash, chapped or cracked lips.
Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as crying or mild irritability.
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 RotaTeq (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) »
What is Patient Information Overview?
A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.
RotaTeq Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects
Remember that the doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to your child is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell the doctor right away if any of these serious side effects occur: persistent/high fever greater than 102 degrees F (39 degrees C).
Rarely, a certain serious intestinal problem (intussusception) has occurred in babies after receiving this vaccine. Intussusception happens when a part of the intestine gets blocked or twisted. The risk may be higher within 21 days after receiving the first dose of rotavirus vaccine, especially in the first 7 days. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms such as bloody stools or sudden severe abdominal pain/diarrhea. In babies, symptoms may include pulling the knees to the chest and crying, or crying when the abdomen is touched.
A very serious allergic reaction to this vaccine is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: 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 the 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 RotaTeq (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent)»
What is Prescribing information?
The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.
RotaTeq FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
Clinical Studies Experience
71,725 infants were evaluated in 3 placebo-controlled clinical trials including 36,165 infants in the group that received RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) and 35,560 infants in the group that received placebo. Parents/guardians were contacted on days 7, 14, and 42 after each dose regarding intussusception and any other serious adverse events. The racial distribution was as follows: White (69% in both groups); Hispanic-American (14% in both groups); Black (8% in both groups); Multiracial (5% in both groups); Asian (2% in both groups); Native American (RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) 2%, placebo 1%); and Other ( < 1% in both groups). The gender distribution was 51% male and 49% female in both vaccination groups.
Because clinical trials are conducted under conditions that may not be typical of those observed in clinical practice, the adverse reaction rates presented below may not be reflective of those observed in clinical practice.
Serious Adverse Events
Serious adverse events occurred in 2.4% of recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) when compared to 2.6% of placebo recipients within the 42-day period of a dose in the phase 3 clinical studies of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) . The most frequently reported serious adverse events for RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) compared to placebo were:
bronchiolitis (0.6% RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) vs. 0.7% Placebo),
gastroenteritis (0.2% RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) vs. 0.3% Placebo),
pneumonia (0.2% RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) vs. 0.2% Placebo),
fever (0.1% RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) vs. 0.1% Placebo), and
urinary tract infection (0.1% RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) vs. 0.1% Placebo).
Across the clinical studies, 52 deaths were reported. There were 25 deaths in the RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) recipients compared to 27 deaths in the placebo recipients. The most commonly reported cause of death was sudden infant death syndrome, which was observed in 8 recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) and 9 placebo recipients.
In REST, 34,837 vaccine recipients and 34,788 placebo recipients were monitored by active surveillance to identify potential cases of intussusception at 7, 14, and 42 days after each dose, and every 6 weeks thereafter for 1 year after the first dose.
For the primary safety outcome, cases of intussusception occurring within 42 days of any dose, there were 6 cases among RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) recipients and 5 cases among placebo recipients (see Table 1). The data did not suggest an increased risk of intussusception relative to placebo.
Table 1: Confirmed cases of intussusception in recipients
of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) as compared with placebo recipients during REST
|Confirmed intussusception cases within 42 days of any dose
Relative risk (95% CI) *
|1.6 (0.4, 6.4)|
|Confirmed intussusception cases within 365 days of dose
Relative risk (95% CI)
|0.9 (0.4, 1.9)|
|*Relative risk and 95% confidence interval based upon group sequential design stopping criteria employed in REST.|
Among vaccine recipients, there were no confirmed cases of intussusception within the 42-day period after the first dose, which was the period of highest risk for the rhesus rotavirus-based product (see Table 2).
Table 2: Intussusception cases by day range in relation to
dose in REST
|Day Range||Dose1||Dose 2||Dose 3||Any Dose|
All of the children who developed intussusception recovered without sequelae with the exception of a 9-month-old male who developed intussusception 98 days after dose 3 and died of post-operative sepsis. There was a single case of intussusception among 2,470 recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) in a 7-month-old male in the phase 1 and 2 studies (716 placebo recipients).
Hematochezia reported as an adverse experience occurred in 0.6% (39/6,130) of vaccine and 0.6% (34/5,560) of placebo recipients within 42 days of any dose. Hematochezia reported as a serious adverse experience occurred in < 0.1% (4/36,150) of vaccine and < 0.1% (7/35,536) of placebo recipients within 42 days of any dose.
All seizures reported in the phase 3 trials of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) (by vaccination group and interval after dose) are shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Seizures reported by day range in relation to any
dose in the phase 3 trials of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent)
Seizures reported as serious adverse experiences occurred in < 0.1% (27/36,150) of vaccine and < 0.1% (18/35,536) of placebo recipients (not significant). Ten febrile seizures were reported as serious adverse experiences, 5 were observed in vaccine recipients and 5 in placebo recipients.
In the phase 3 clinical trials, infants were followed for up to 42 days of vaccine dose. Kawasaki disease was reported in 5 of 36,150 vaccine recipients and in 1 of 35,536 placebo recipients with unadjusted relative risk 4.9 (95% CI 0.6, 239.1).
Most Common Adverse Events
Solicited Adverse Events
Detailed safety information was collected from 11,711 infants (6,138 recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) ) which included a subset of subjects in REST and all subjects from Studies 007 and 009 (Detailed Safety Cohort). A Vaccination Report Card was used by parents/guardians to record the child's temperature and any episodes of diarrhea and vomiting on a daily basis during the first week following each vaccination. Table 4 summarizes the frequencies of these adverse events and irritability.
Table 4: Solicited adverse experiences within the first week
after doses 1, 2, and 3 (Detailed Safety Cohort)
||Dose 1||Dose 2||Dose 3|
|*Temperature ≥ 100.5°F [38.1°C] rectal equivalent obtained by adding 1 degree F to otic and oral temperatures and 2 degrees F to axillary temperatures|
Other Adverse Events
Parents/guardians of the 11,711 infants were also asked to report the presence of other events on the Vaccination Report Card for 42 days after each dose.
Fever was observed at similar rates in vaccine (N=6,138) and placebo (N=5,573) recipients (42.6% vs. 42.8%). Adverse events that occurred at a statistically higher incidence (i.e., 2-sided p-value < 0.05) within the 42 days of any dose among recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) as compared with placebo recipients are shown in Table 5.
Table 5: Adverse events that occurred at a statistically higher incidence within 42 days of any dose among recipients of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) as compared with placebo recipients
|Adverse event||RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent)
|Diarrhea||1,479 (24.1%)||1,186 (21.3%)|
|Vomiting||929 (15.2%)||758 (13.6%)|
|Otitis media||887 (14.5%)||724 (13.0%)|
|Nasopharyngitis||422 (6.9%)||325 (5.8%)|
|Bronchospasm||66 (1.1%)||40 (0.7%)|
Safety in Pre-Term Infants
RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) or placebo was administered to 2,070 pre-term infants (25 to 36 weeks gestational age, median 34 weeks) according to their age in weeks since birth in REST. All pre-term infants were followed for serious adverse experiences; a subset of 308 infants was monitored for all adverse experiences. There were 4 deaths throughout the study, 2 among vaccine recipients (1 SIDS and 1 motor vehicle accident) and 2 among placebo recipients (1 SIDS and 1 unknown cause). No cases of intussusception were reported. Serious adverse experiences occurred in 5.5% of vaccine and 5.8% of placebo recipients. The most common serious adverse experience was bronchiolitis, which occurred in 1.4% of vaccine and 2.0% of placebo recipients. Parents/guardians were asked to record the child's temperature and any episodes of vomiting and diarrhea daily for the first week following vaccination. The frequencies of these adverse experiences and irritability within the week after dose 1 are summarized in Table 6.
Table 6: Solicited adverse experiences within the first week
of doses 1, 2, and 3 among pre-term infants
|Adverse event||Dose 1||Dose 2||Dose 3|
|*Temperature 100.5°F [38.1°C] rectal equivalent obtained by adding 1 degree F to otic and oral temperatures and 2 degrees F to axillary temperatures|
The following adverse events have been identified during post-approval use of RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) from reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Reporting of adverse events following immunization to VAERS is voluntary, and the number of doses of vaccine administered is not known; therefore, it is not always possible to reliably estimate the adverse event frequency or establish a causal relationship to vaccine exposure using VAERS data.
In post-marketing experience, the following adverse events have been reported in infants who have received RotaTeq (rotavirus vaccine, live, oral, pentavalent) :
Intussusception (including death)
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Infections and infestations
Reporting Adverse Events
Parents or guardians should be instructed to report any adverse reactions to their health care provider.
Health care providers should report all adverse events to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).
VAERS accepts all reports of suspected adverse events after the administration of any vaccine, including but not limited to the reporting of events required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. For information or a copy of the vaccine reporting form, call the VAERS toll-free number at 1-800-822-7967 or report on line to www.vaers.hhs.gov.2
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for RotaTeq (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) »
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