Tetanus

Last updated on RxList: 12/25/2016

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Tetanus Overview & Usage

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

TETANUS TOXOID - INJECTION

(TET-a-nus TOX-oyd)

USES: This medication is given to provide protection (immunity) against tetanus (lockjaw) in adults and children 7 years or older. Vaccination is the best way to protect against this life-threatening disease. Vaccines work by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies). Tetanus vaccine is usually first given to infants with 2 other vaccines for diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis) in a series of 3 injections. This medication is usually used as a "booster" vaccine after this first series. Closely follow the vaccination schedule provided by the doctor.

Booster injections may be needed at the time of injury in older children and adults if it has been 5-10 years since the last tetanus vaccine was received. Booster injections should also be given every 10 years even if no injury has occurred. This injection or an injection with tetanus/diphtheria or tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis may be used for the booster.

HOW TO USE: Read the Vaccine Information Statement available from your health care provider before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, consult your health care provider.

This medication is given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional, usually into the upper arm or upper thigh.

This medication should not be given to people who currently have an infection/illness. If possible, schedule the vaccination later after the illness is over.

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Tetanus Side Effects & Precautions
SIDE EFFECTS: Mild fever, joint pain, muscle aches, nausea, tiredness, or pain/itching/swelling/redness at the injection site may occur. Acetaminophen may be used to reduce these effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell the doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that the doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects. Most people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell the doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: tingling of the hands/feet, hearing problems, trouble swallowing, muscle weakness, seizures.

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 Tetanus (tetanus toxoid) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

PRECAUTIONS: Before you or your child receives this vaccination, tell the doctor or pharmacist if you or your child is allergic to it; or to any other vaccines; or if you or your child has any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This medication should not be used if you or your child has certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult the doctor or pharmacist if you or your child has: history of severe reaction to vaccine (e.g., paralysis, encephalopathy).

Before using this medication, tell the doctor or pharmacist your or your child's medical history, especially of: bleeding disorders (e.g., hemophilia, low platelets), history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, high fever (higher than 103 degrees F/39 degrees C) after previous vaccination, other reaction (e.g., swelling, itching at injection site) after previous vaccination, immune system disorders (e.g., autoimmune disorders, radiation treatment), illness/infection, seizures, other nervous system disorders (e.g., paralysis, numbness/tingling, extreme drowsiness, confusion).

This medication may contain mercury (in the preservative thimerosal) and should not be used in children younger than 7 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Tetanus Missed Dose
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you or your child for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with the doctor or pharmacist first.

Before you or your child receives this vaccine, tell the doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you or your child may use, especially of: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone, prednisone), cancer chemotherapy, drugs that weaken the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, tacrolimus), other recent/planned vaccinations (e.g., diphtheria/tetanus toxoids).

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

NOTES: There are various combinations of vaccines available. Based on you or your child's age, medical condition, and any previous reactions to vaccines, the health care professional will decide which vaccine to use. Discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the health care provider. History of infection with tetanus does not protect against future infections with this bacteria. You or your child should still receive this vaccine if the doctor orders it.

MISSED DOSE: It is important to receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to make a note of when the vaccination was last given for your/your child's medical record.

STORAGE: Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised July 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.

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