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tetanus toxoid vaccine

Pronunciation: TET a nus TOX oid

Brand: Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed

What is the most important information I should know about tetanus toxoid vaccine?

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

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You may not be able to receive tetanus toxoid vaccine if you have ever received a similar vaccine that caused a life-threatening allergic reaction or a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain.

Before you receive this vaccine, tell your healthcare provider if you have a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, easy bruising or bleeding, a history of Guillain Barré syndrome, an allergy to latex rubber, a weak immune system, or if you are receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

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Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

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Call your doctor at once if you have deep, aching pain and muscle wasting in the upper arm(s). This rare but serious reaction to a tetanus vaccine may begin 2 days to 4 weeks after you receive the vaccine, and could last up to many months.

Becoming infected with tetanus is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

What is tetanus toxoid vaccine?

Tetanus is a serious disease caused by bacteria. Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases.

This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria (or a protein from the bacteria), which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

The tetanus toxoid vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in adults and children who are at least 7 years old.

Like any vaccine, the tetanus toxoid vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving tetanus toxoid vaccine?

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You may not be able to receive tetanus toxoid vaccine if you have ever received a similar vaccine that caused any of the following:

  • a life-threatening allergic reaction; or
  • a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain.

If you have any of these other conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:

  • a bleeding or blood-clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;
  • thrombocytopenia purpura (easy bruising or bleeding);
  • Guillain Barré syndrome (within 6 weeks after receiving a vaccine that contains tetanus);
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS); or
  • if you are receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with the bacteria that causes tetanus.

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It is not known whether tetanus toxoid vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is tetanus toxoid vaccine given?

This vaccine is injected into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

Tetanus toxoid vaccine is given every 10 years as a booster dose to the tetanus vaccines given during childhood as part of a routine immunization schedule. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

Tetanus toxoid vaccine is often given immediately after an injury that causes a wound that may be infected with bacteria that causes tetanus. The next booster dose would then be given 10 years later.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a 10-year booster dose or if you get behind schedule, the next dose should be given as soon as possible.

Be sure to receive all recommended doses of this vaccine. You may not be fully protected if you do not receive the full series.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving tetanus toxoid vaccine?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What are the possible side effects of tetanus toxoid vaccine?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have deep, aching pain and muscle wasting in the upper arm(s). This rare but serious reaction to a tetanus vaccine may begin 2 days to 4 weeks after you receive the vaccine, and could last up to many months.

Becoming infected with tetanus is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • fever, general ill feeling;
  • nausea;
  • feeling light-headed;
  • joint pain; or
  • redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, or a lump where the shot was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1 800 822 7967.

What other drugs will affect tetanus toxoid vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received.

Also tell the doctor if you have recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

  • an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid;
  • chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatments;
  • medications to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders, such as azathioprine (Imuran), etanercept (Enbrel), leflunomide (Arava), and others; or
  • medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection, such as basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf), muromonab CD3 (Orthoclone), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).

If you are using any of these medications, you may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with tetanus toxoid vaccine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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