Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, diphtheria conjugate (Injection)

Introduction

Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine, Diphtheria Conjugate (me-NINJ-oh-kok-kal pol-ee-SAK-a-ride VAX-een, dif-THEER-ee-a KON-joo-gate)

Prevents meningitis. This vaccine is recommended for children older than 9 months and adults younger than 55 years of age.

Brand Name(s)

Menactra

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 a severe allergic reaction to meningococcal or diphtheria vaccines.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give this vaccine to you or your child. It is given as a shot into a muscle.
  • Children 9 months to 23 months old will receive 2 doses of this vaccine. Children 2 years and older and adults up to 55 years will receive 1 dose of this vaccine.
  • You should receive a vaccine information statement. Read the information carefully before you receive this vaccine. Ask your doctor if you have any 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 using medicines that weaken your immune system, such as cancer medicines, radiation treatment, or steroids.
  • Tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received, including a flu shot.
  • This vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have a weak immune system, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you or your child has sudden weakness or cannot move your arms or legs. This could be a sign of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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
  • Fever or chills

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

  • Crying or irritability
  • Diarrhea, loss of appetite, or vomiting
  • Headache or drowsiness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Redness, pain, itching, burning, swelling, tenderness, or a lump under the skin where the shot was given

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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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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