This vaccine is used to help prevent certain serious, sometimes fatal, bacterial infections (meningitis, meningococcemia). This infection may cause severe problems (hearing loss, brain/nerve problems, paralysis, blindness, seizures, loss of limbs) even with antibiotic treatment. This vaccine works by increasing the body's natural defense (immunity) against the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection. However, like any vaccine, it may not fully protect everyone who receives it.
The brand and dose of vaccine you receive depend on your age. Other vaccines may also be given at the same time, usually in a different site on the body.
This vaccine is given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. Adults and children usually receive the injection in the upper arm, and infants receive it in the upper thigh. Depending on your age, the vaccine is given one or more times. Ask your health care provider for your recommended vaccine schedule.
Since fever may commonly occur after vaccination (especially in infants and children), your doctor may recommend a fever/pain relief medication (such as acetaminophen) for use if needed. Ask your health care provider for details.
Pain/redness/swelling at the injection site, headache, fever, chills, drowsiness, tiredness, joint/muscle pain, nausea, loss of appetite, or diarrhea 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 this 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 latex found in some brands), 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, a certain nerve disease (Guillain-Barre syndrome), bleeding/blood disorders (such as hemophilia, thrombocytopenia).
This drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
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 may weaken the immune system (such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus).
Keep vaccine records for yourself and your children. After your children are grown, give them a record to share with their doctor(s) to help prevent unnecessary re-vaccinations.
It is important that you or your child receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to ask when each dose should be received, and make a note on a calendar to help you remember.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. 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 April 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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