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Drugs & Medications

Decavac (PF) intramuscular

Uses

This medication is used to help prevent problems that may occur with 2 bacterial infections in children and adults (tetanus and diphtheria). Tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria can cause serious, sometimes fatal problems (heart problems, nerve problems, muscle paralysis).

Vaccination is the best way to protect (provide immunity) against these life-threatening diseases. Vaccines work by getting the body to make its own protection (antibodies).

This vaccine is recommended for all people 7 years and older. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids combined (adult) injection should not be used in anyone younger than 7 years because they may not be fully protected by this vaccine. A vaccine for children younger than 7 years is available. Consult your child's doctor for more information.

How to use Decavac (PF) intramuscular

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 vaccine is given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm by a health care professional.

A series of 3 injections is given for first-time vaccination. The first injection is followed in 4 to 8 weeks with the second injection. The third dose is given 6 to 12 months after the second injection. A booster dose is recommended for children 11 to 12 years old if the last dose was at least 5 years ago.

After all 3 injections are given, booster doses should be given every 10 years. Only diphtheria and tetanus toxoids vaccine (adult) should be used.

Side Effects

Pain/redness/warmth/bruising/swelling at the injection site, tiredness, fever, or headache may occur. 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 to you or your child is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. However, report all side effects to the doctor.

Tell the doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: shoulder pain, muscle weakness/tingling.

A severe reaction at the injection site may rarely occur. Tell the doctor if you or your child develop any of the following injection site reactions: severe pain, large area of swelling/redness/bruising, persistent lump.

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 the 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.

Precautions

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any other vaccines; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before receiving this vaccination, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: current fever/illness, a certain nerve disease (Guillain-Barre syndrome), bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia, thrombocytopenia).

Some brands of this product may contain a small amount of mercury from a preservative (thimerosal). Consult your doctor for more information.

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

It is unknown whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.

To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as warfarin), chemotherapy, corticosteroids (such as prednisone, dexamethasone), drugs that weaken the immune system (such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus).

Other vaccines may be given at the same time as this vaccine, but they should be given with separate syringes and at different injection sites.

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

As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not fully protect everyone who receives it.

Keep vaccine records for yourself and all of your children, and after your children are grown, provide the records to them and their doctors. This will prevent unnecessary re-vaccinations.

Missed Dose

It is important that you or your child receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to ask when you or your child should receive the next dose. It may help to make a note on your calendar to remind you. If you or your child miss a dose, call the doctor immediately to reschedule.

Storage

Not applicable. This vaccine is given in a doctor's office and will not be stored at home.

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

Images

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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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