Last updated on RxList: 8/4/2020
Imovax Side Effects Center

What Is Imovax?

Imovax Rabies Vaccine is an immunization used to prevent rabies in people who have been bitten by an animal or otherwise exposed to the rabies virus.

What Are Side Effects of Imovax?

Common side effects of Imovax Rabies Vaccine include:

  • injection site reactions (pain, swelling, itching, or redness),
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • muscle pain,
  • nausea, or
  • stomach pain.

Tell your doctor if you have a serious side effect of Imovax Rabies Vaccine including:

  • a fever above 104 degrees,
  • weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes,
  • problems with balance or eye movement, or
  • trouble speaking or swallowing.

Dosage for Imovax

The usual dose of Imovax for pre-exposure vaccination is six intramuscular injections, or 5 doses of Imovax plus one injection of Rabies Immune Globulin (RIG). Post-exposure vaccination is 2 injections in a person who has had the pre-exposure vaccinations. Post-exposure in a non-vaccinated person is the same as the pre-exposure regimen.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Imovax?

Imovax may interact with chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatments, cyclosporine, sirolimus, tacrolimus, basiliximab, efalizumab, muromonab-CD3, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, leflunomide, etanercept, or steroids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you are taking.

Imovax During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Imovax should be given during pregnancy only if prescribed. It is not known whether this vaccine is harmful to a fetus. It is not known whether Imovax rabies vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Imovax Rabies Vaccine 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.


25 Ways to Stay Well Abroad in Pictures See Slideshow
Imovax Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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 shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with rabies 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have rare but serious side effects, such as:

  • a very high fever;
  • fever, vomiting, skin rash, joint pain, general ill feeling;
  • tingling or a prickly feeling in your fingers or toes;
  • weakness or unusual feeling in your arms and legs; or
  • problems with balance or eye movement, trouble speaking or swallowing.

Common side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, itching, or redness where the shot was given;
  • headache;
  • dizziness;
  • muscle pain; or
  • nausea, stomach pain.

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 Imovax (Rabies Vaccine)

Imovax Professional Information


  • 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

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

Anaphylactic reaction, serum sickness type reaction, dermatitis allergic, pruritus (itching), edema

Nervous System Disorders

Paresthesia, neuropathy, convulsion, encephalitis

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Vomiting, diarrhea

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders


General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions

Asthenia, malaise, fever and chills (shivering), injection site hematoma

Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders

Wheezing, dyspnea

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Imovax (Rabies Vaccine)

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

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors