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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed

Generic Name: tetanus toxoid vaccine (Pronunciation: TET a nus TOX oid)

What is tetanus toxoid vaccine (Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed)?

Tetanus is a serious disease caused by bacteria. Tetanus toxoid vaccine exposes the individual to a small amount of the bacteria (or to a protein from the bacteria) causing the body to develop immunity to the disease.

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.

Tetanus toxoid vaccine can help prevent tetanus. Tetanus toxoid vaccine is made for people 7 years of age and older. After a person completes the primary immunization schedule, a tetanus toxoid booster dose is needed every 10 years all through life. Talk to your doctor about the tetanus immunization and booster schedule.

What are the possible side effects of tetanus toxoid vaccine (Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed)?

Getting tetanus is much riskier than getting the tetanus toxoid vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of tetanus toxoid vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if any of the following rare but serious side effects from tetanus toxoid are experienced:

  • a serious allergic reaction including swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; hives; paleness; weakness; dizziness; or a fast heart beat; or
  • deep, aching pain and muscle wasting in the upper arm(s) starting 2 days to 4 weeks after the shot, and lasting up to many months.

Other less serious side effects, such as soreness redness, or swelling where the shot was given, may be more likely to occur. These side effects usually start within hours to a day or two after vaccination. They may last 1-2 days. Your doctor may recommend reducing pain or soreness from the injection by taking an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, others) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, others) when the shot is given and for the next 24-48 hours. Your healthcare provider can tell you the appropriate dosages of these medications.

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 side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about tetanus toxoid vaccine (Tetanus Toxoid, Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed)?

Individuals with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Those who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting tetanus toxoid vaccine.



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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