Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, diphtheria conjugate (By 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 (meningococcal infection).

Brand Name(s)

Menactra

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give this vaccine as a shot into a muscle.
  • Adults and children older than 2 years of age usually receive this vaccine just once. Children younger of 2 years of age will need repeat shots.
  • It is very important for your child to receive all of the shots for the vaccine. If your child misses a dose, call your child's doctor for another appointment.
  • You should receive a vaccine information statement. Read the information carefully before this vaccine is given. 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.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you have a weak immune system, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • This vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.
  • This vaccine may cause the following problems:
    • Apnea (breathing problems) in premature infants
    • 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
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fever or chills
  • Weakness, numbness, or tingling, especially in the legs

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

  • Crying or irritability
  • Diarrhea, loss of appetite, or vomiting
  • Headache, drowsiness, or sleepiness
  • 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 10/12/2016

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