Diphtheria/acellular pertussis/tetanus booster vaccine (Tdap) (Injection)


Pertussis Vaccine, Acellular (per-TUS-iss VAX-een, a-SELL-yoo-lar), Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid (ree-DOOST dif-THEER-ee-a TOX-oyd), Tetanus Toxoid (TET-a-nus TOX-oyd)

Protects against infections caused by tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, or pertussis (whooping cough). This is a booster vaccine given to patients who are at least 10 years old.

Brand Name(s)

Adacel, Boostrix

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive this vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to the separate or combined tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccine. This vaccine should not be given if you have had seizures, mental changes, a coma, or any other serious reaction within 7 days after getting a pertussis-containing vaccine.

How to Use This Medicine


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles. This vaccine is usually given in the upper arm.
  • You or your child may receive other vaccines at the same time as this one, but in a different body area. You should receive patient instructions for all of the vaccines. Make sure you understand all of the information and talk to your doctor or nurse if you have questions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are receiving a medicine or treatment that may weaken the immune system. This may include steroids (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Medrol®), radiation treatment, or cancer medicines (chemotherapy).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you or your child are sick or have a fever.
  • Tell your doctor about any reaction you or your child have had after receiving a vaccine. This includes fainting, seizures, a fever over 105 degrees F, or severe redness or swelling where the shot was given. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome (a nervous system disorder that causes paralysis) after receiving a vaccine with tetanus.
  • Let your doctor know if you or your child has epilepsy (convulsions or seizures), or a history of stroke.
  • Tell the doctor right away if you or your child are allergic to latex rubber. The syringes of the Adacel® and Boostrix® vaccines contain dry natural latex rubber. This may cause an allergic reaction in patients who are sensitive to latex.
  • This vaccine may not work as well if there is a problem with your immune system. Tell your doctor if you or your child have a weak immune system.
  • This vaccine will not treat an active infection. If you or your child have a diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis infection, you will need medicine to treat the infection.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain.
  • Fever of 105 degrees F or higher with or without chills.
  • Increased thirst, hunger, or urination.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Seizures.
  • Severe muscle weakness, cramps, or pain.
  • Severe pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Joint pain or swelling.
  • Mild pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given.
  • Skin rash or itching.
  • Tiredness.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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