Biavax Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 8/9/2022
Biavax Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

What Is Biavax?

Biavax II (rubella and mumps virus vaccine live) is a vaccine used for simultaneous immunization against rubella and mumps in persons 12 months of age or older. A booster is not needed. The brand name Biavax II is discontinued, but generic versions may be available.

What Are Side Effects of Biavax?

Common side effects of Biavax II (rubella and mumps virus vaccine live) include:

Biavax may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives,
  • difficulty breathing,
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, and
  • severe dizziness

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Biavax

The dosage of Biavax II vaccine is the same for all persons. Inject the total volume (about 0.5 mL) of reconstituted vaccine subcutaneously, preferably into the outer aspect of upper arm.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Biavax?

Biavax II may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use and all vaccines you recently received.

Biavax During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Biavax II is not recommended for use during pregnancy, and pregnancy should be avoided for three months following vaccination. It is unknown if mumps vaccine virus is passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Biavax II (rubella and mumps 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.


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Burning and/or stinging of short duration at the injection site have been reported.

The adverse clinical reactions associated with the use of BIAVAX (rubella and mumps virus vaccine live) II are those expected to follow administration of the monovalent vaccines given separately. These may include malaise, sore throat, cough, rhinitis, headache, dizziness, fever, rash, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; mild local reactions such as erythema, induration, tenderness and regional lymphadenopathy; parotitis, orchitis, nerve deafness, thrombocytopenia and purpura; allergic reactions such as wheal and flare at the injection site or urticaria; polyneuritis; and arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic).

Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported.

Vasculitis has been reported rarely.

Moderate fever [101-102.9°F (38.3-39.4°C)] occurs occasionally, and high fever [above 103°F (39.4°C)] occurs less commonly. On rare occasions, children developing fever may exhibit febrile convulsions. Syncope, particularly at the time of mass vaccination, has been reported. Rash occurs infrequently and is usually minimal, but rarely may be generalized. Erythema multiforme has also been reported rarely.

Forms of optic neuritis, including retrobulbar neuritis and papillitis may infrequently follow viral infections, and have been reported to occur 1 to 3 weeks following inoculation with some live virus vaccines.

Isolated reports of polyneuropathy including Guillain-Barre syndrome have been reported after immunization with rubella-containing vaccines.

Clinical experience with live attenuated rubella and mumps virus vaccines given individually indicates that encephalitis and other nervous system reactions have occurred very rarely. These might occur also with BIAVAX (rubella and mumps virus vaccine live) II.

Arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), and polyneuritis are features of natural 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 (Rubella Virus Vaccine Live).

Chronic arthritis has been associated with natural 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: 12-20%), 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 older women (35-45 years), these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities.


Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Biavax (Rubella and Mumps Virus Vaccine Live)


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© Biavax Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Biavax Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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