Diphtheria/acellular pertussis/tetanus vaccine (DTaP) (Injection)


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

Protects against infections caused by diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).

Brand Name(s)

Tripedia, Infanrix, Daptacel, Adacel, Boostrix

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Your child should not receive this vaccine if your child has had an allergic reaction to the separate or combined tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccine. This vaccine should not be given to a child who has had seizures, mood or mental changes, or lost consciousness within 7 days after receiving a pertussis vaccine. This vaccine should not be given to a child who has brain problems or seizures that are not under control.

How to Use This Medicine


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give your child this vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot into one of your child's muscles. Your child will receive a series of 5 shots.
  • Your child may receive other vaccinations at the same time as this one. You should receive other information sheets on those vaccinations. Make sure you understand all the information given to you.
  • Your child may also receive medicines to help prevent or treat some minor side effects of the vaccine.

If a dose is missed:

  • If this vaccine is part of a series of vaccines, it is important that your child receive all of the shots. Try to keep all scheduled appointments. If your child must miss a shot, make another appointment with the doctor as soon as possible.

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 child's doctor knows if your child has recently received immune globulin. Tell your doctor if your child is receiving a treatment that may weaken the immune system. This may include a steroid drug (such as dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, Medrol®), radiation treatment, or cancer medicines.
  • Tell your child's doctor if your child uses a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your child's doctor knows if your child has been sick or had a fever recently. Tell your doctor about any reaction your child has had after receiving any type of vaccine. This includes fainting, seizure, fever over 105 degrees F, crying that would not stop, or severe redness or swelling where the shot was given. Tell your doctor if your child has had Guillain-Barré syndrome after a tetanus vaccine. Also tell your doctor if your child has a bleeding disorder (such as hemophilia) or blood-clotting problem.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if your child was born prematurely. This vaccine may cause breathing problems in infants born prematurely.
  • Some packages that contain this medicine have latex in them. Tell your doctor if your child is allergic to latex rubber.
  • This vaccine will not treat an active infection. If your child has an infection due to tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis, your child will need medicine to treat these infections.

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
  • Bluish-colored skin, lips, or nails
  • Crying constantly for 3 hours or more
  • Fever over 105 degrees F
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle weakness, sleepiness, or drowsiness

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

  • Fussiness or irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, or a lump where the shot was given
  • 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

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

Average rating (0)