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Tetanus Toxoid
Brand Name(s):
Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed, Tetanus Toxoid Fluid
Drug Class:
Vaccine
Available OTC?: No
Available Generic?: No
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions


Available In
Injection

Why Prescribed
To prevent, but not to treat, tetanus (lockjaw)

How It Works
Tetanus toxoid stimulates the body's immune system to produce protective antibodies against tetanus.

Range and Frequency
Depending on the type of vaccine being administered, injections are given in the upper arm or midthigh, either into a muscle or under the skin. For adults, children, and infants 6 weeks of age and older: An initial dose at first visit, a second dose eight weeks later. Depending on the vaccine being used, a third dose may be given eight weeks after the second dose, and a fourth dose six to 12 months later (usually at 15 to 18 months of age in infants). Booster shots should be administered every 10 years. If you sustain a wound that is unclean or difficult to clean, you may need an emergency booster injection if more than five years have elapsed since your last booster shot.

Onset of Effect
Most patients develop immunity following the second dose.

Duration of Action
Up to 10 years

Dietary Advice
It may be administered without regard to diet.

Storage
Not applicable; the immunizations are administered only at a health-care facility.

Missed Dose
If you miss a scheduled vaccination, contact your doctor to reschedule it.

Stopping the Drug
Follow the full immunization schedule unless a medical problem arises that rules out receiving a vaccination.

Prolonged Use
No special problems are expected.

Over 60
Tetanus toxoid should not cause different or more severe side effects in older patients than in younger persons. Vaccine may be slightly less effective. Two-thirds of all tetanus cases in the past few years have been in people age 50 and older.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The administration of tetanus toxoid should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
No special precautions are necessary.

Pregnancy
Adequate studies have not been done. However, if the mother is immune to tetanus, tetanus antibodies from the mother can protect the child from tetanus infection at birth.

Breast Feeding
Tetanus toxoid has not been shown to cause problems during breast-feeding.

Infants and Children
Not recommended for use by children less than 6 weeks old.

Special Concerns
Regardless of immunization status, dirty wounds should always be properly cleaned and treated.

Overdose Symptoms
No specific ones have been reported.

What to Do
If any unexplained symptoms arise after receiving an immunization, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center.

Drug Interactions
Other drugs may interact with tetanus toxoid. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Food Interactions
No known food interactions

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have had a severe reaction or a high fever following a previous injection; or if you have pneumonia, bronchitis, or another illness affecting the lungs; any severe illness that is causing fever; or neurological disorders or a history of seizures.


Date Published: 4/14/2005
Date Reviewed: 5/23/2005


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Serious

Serious allergic reaction involving difficulty swallowing or breathing; reddened skin, especially around the ears; itching, particularly of the hands or feet; hives; unusual and severe fatigue; and swollen face, eyes, or nasal passages. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Hard lump or redness at site of injection
Less Common

Fever, chills, unusual fatigue, irritability. Also skin rash, pain, itching, swelling, or tenderness at site of injection
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