This vaccine helps to protect high-risk patients against a certain type of serious bacterial infection that affects the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). It is also used to control an outbreak of this infection if it occurs. This vaccine does not protect you against all strains of this type of bacteria.
Vaccines work by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies). Enough antibodies to protect you are usually produced within 7-10 days after you receive this vaccine.
You may need to have another dose of vaccine if you are still at high risk for infection 2-3 years after your last shot. Ask your doctor for more details.
This vaccine can be given at the same time as most other vaccines, using separate injection sites and separate syringes. However, it must not be given at the same time as whole-cell pertussis or typhoid vaccines.
Pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness at the injection site commonly occur and usually last 1-2 days. Headache and fever may also occur. Ask your doctor if you should take a fever/pain reducer (e.g., acetaminophen) to help treat these symptoms. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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.
See also How to Use and Drug Interactions sections.
Before you receive this vaccine, tell the 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 or dry natural rubber that can be found in the vial stopper), 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: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness or fever, immune system problems (e.g., due to cancer treatment, organ transplant, HIV).
Some brands of this product may contain a small amount of mercury from a preservative (thimerosal). Consult your doctor for more information.
This vaccine should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
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: cancer chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, prednisone), drugs that weaken your immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, tacrolimus), whole-cell pertussis or typhoid vaccines.
It is important to understand the risks and benefits of vaccinations. Discuss this with your doctor.
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 March 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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