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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Decavac (Td), Tetanus-Diphtheria Toxoids, Adult (Td)

Generic Name: tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td, adult) (Pronunciation: TET a nus and dif THEER ee a TOX oids)

What is tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Decavac (Td), Tetanus-Diphtheria Toxoids, Adult (Td))?

Tetanus and diphtheria are serious diseases 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 the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases.

Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat, and airways. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death.

Diphtheria is spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound.

The tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (also called Td) is used to help prevent these diseases in adults and children who are at least 7 years old.

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.

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

What are the possible side effects of this vaccine (Decavac (Td), Tetanus-Diphtheria Toxoids, Adult (Td))?

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you have 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 tetanus or diphtheria 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:

Less serious side effects include:

  • redness, pain, tenderness, swelling, or a hard lump where the shot was given;
  • mild fever;
  • joint pain, body aches;
  • mild drowsiness; or
  • mild vomiting.

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 (Decavac (Td), Tetanus-Diphtheria Toxoids, Adult (Td))?

The tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given to a person who is at least 7 years old. The booster shots are then given 4 to 8 weeks after the first shot, and 6 to 12 months after the second shot. After the initial series, a booster dose is given every 10 years.

A booster shot is also recommended in children who are 11 or 12 years old if more than 5 years have passed since the child's last tetanus and diphtheria vaccine.

If it has been longer than 5 years since your last booster, you may need an emergency booster shot if you have been exposed to tetanus through a skin wound.

Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

The adult version of this vaccine (Td) should not be given to anyone under the age of 7 years old. Another vaccine is available for use in younger children and infants.

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 can still receive a vaccine if you have a cold or fever. 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.

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you have 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 tetanus or diphtheria 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.



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