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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Cervarix

Generic Name: human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, bivalent (Pronunciation: HYOO man pap il OH ma VI rus vax EEN, bye VAY lent)

What is human papillomavirus vaccine (Cervarix)?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause genital warts, cancer of the cervix, and various cancers of the vulva or vagina.

The bivalent (bye-VAY-lent) form of HPV vaccine ( Cervarix) is used only in females. Another form of HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is used in both females and males. This medication guide provides information only for Cervarix.

HPV bivalent (Cervarix) vaccine is used to prevent cervical cancer caused by certain types of HPV (types 16 and 18) in girls and young women ages 10 through 25.

HPV vaccine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of human papillomavirus vaccine (Cervarix)?

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

Developing cancer from HPV is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. However, 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.

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Other side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given;
  • headache, tired feeling;
  • joint or muscle pain.
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • menstrual pain;
  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough; or

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 human papillomavirus vaccine (Cervarix)?

The bivalent (bye-VAY-lent) form of HPV vaccine ( Cervarix) is used only in females. Another form of HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is used in both females and males. This medication guide provides information only for Cervarix.

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

Before receiving HPV bivalent vaccine, tell your doctor if you have a weak immune system, or if you are allergic to latex rubber.

HPV vaccine should not be used in place of having a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Developing cancer from HPV is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

HPV vaccine will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.



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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