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Drugs & Medications

poliovirus vaccine injection




This vaccine is used to prevent a certain virus infection (polio). It is usually given to infants and children as part of routine immunization. It may also be given to adults at high risk for polio infection (such as before travel to countries where polio is common). Severe infection with polio may damage nerve cells, causing an inability to move (paralysis) in part of the body (such as the legs, arms, breathing muscles). This vaccine works by increasing the body's natural defense (immunity) against the polio virus.

Like any vaccine, this vaccine may not fully protect against infection, and it will not help if you already have the virus.

How to use poliovirus vaccine injection

Read the Vaccine Information Statement available from your health care professional before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.

This vaccine is given by a health care professional as directed by your doctor. It is usually injected into a thigh muscle. It may also be injected into the upper arm muscle or under the skin. This medication should not be injected into a vein.

Children receive the vaccine in 4 separate doses. Adults may receive 1 to 3 doses depending on their previous vaccination history and medical condition. All doses are given at least 4 weeks apart. For the best protection, it is important to receive all scheduled doses. To help you remember, it may help to mark your calendar with a reminder.

This vaccine is usually given at the same time as other vaccines.

Side Effects

Redness/swelling/tenderness at the injection site, fever, irritability, and tiredness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Infrequently, temporary symptoms such as fainting/dizziness/lightheadedness, vision changes, numbness/tingling, or seizure-like movements have happened after vaccine injections. Tell your health care provider right away if you have any of these symptoms soon after receiving an injection. Sitting or lying down may relieve symptoms.

Remember that your health care professional 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.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away 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 the 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 call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.


Before receiving poliovirus vaccine, tell your health care professional if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as neomycin, streptomycin, polymyxin B, 2-phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your health care professional your medical history, especially of: current fever/illness, immune system problems (such as due to cancer treatment, HIV infection).

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

It is unknown if this vaccine passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this vaccine include: drugs that weaken the immune system (such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids including prednisone).


Not applicable.


Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.

Missed Dose

It is important that each vaccination is received as scheduled. Be sure to ask when each dose should be received and make a note on a calendar to help you remember. If you miss an appointment, contact the doctor for advice.


Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. 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 March 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.


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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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