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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Attenuvax

Generic Name: measles virus vaccine (Pronunciation: MEE sels VYE rus vax EEN)

What is measles virus vaccine (Attenuvax)?

Measles is a serious disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person through the air.

Measles virus can cause minor symptoms such as skin rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, or mild fever. It can also cause more serious symptoms such as ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, permanent brain damage, or death.

The measles virus vaccine is a live-virus vaccine used to help prevent this disease in children and adults.

This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, 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.

Measles virus vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 12 months old, and in adults who have never received the vaccine or had the diseases.

Like any vaccine, the measles virus vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What are the possible side effects of measles virus vaccines (Attenuvax)?

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 shots caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with measles is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against these diseases. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

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

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • high fever;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • weakness, numbness or tingly feeling in your feet and spreading upward;
  • problems with hearing or vision;
  • problems with eye movement, speech, swallowing, or bladder and bowel functions;
  • severe lower back pain; or
  • slow heart rate, trouble breathing, feeling like you might pass out.

Less serious side effects include:

  • redness, burning, stinging, swelling, blistering, or hives where the shot was given;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • feeling irritable;
  • fussiness, excessive crying;
  • low fever, cough, runny nose;
  • joint or muscle pain; or
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.

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 is the most important information I should know about this vaccine (Attenuvax)?

You should not receive this vaccine if you are allergic to gelatin or neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin, Neo-Tab), or if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing the measles virus.

You should also not receive this vaccine if you have a weak immune system, or if you have leukemia, lymphoma, bone marrow cancer, or if you are pregnant.

Avoid becoming pregnant for at least 3 months after receiving a measles virus vaccine.

Do not receive this vaccine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor if you are allergic to eggs, or if you have thrombocytopenia purpura, untreated tuberculosis, a history of seizures or head injury, or if you have received an immune globulin or other blood product within the past 3 months.

The measles vaccine is usually given to a child who is 12 to 15 month old. A measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine should then be given before the child starts elementary school.

Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. In addition to the measles virus vaccine, you may also need to receive a measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

Be sure you receive all recommended doses of this vaccine. If you do not receive the full series of vaccines, you may not be fully protected against the disease.

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 shots caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with measles is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against these diseases. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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