Pneumovax

DRUG DESCRIPTION

PNEUMOVAX 23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent) is a sterile, liquid vaccine for intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. It consists of a mixture of highly purified capsular polysaccharides from the 23 most prevalent or invasive pneumococcal types of Streptococcus pneumonias, including the six serotypes that most frequently cause invasive drug-resistant pneumococcal infections among children and adults in the United States.1 (See Table 1.) The 23-valent vaccine accounts for at least 90% of pneumococcal blood isolates and at least 85% of all pneumococcal isolates from sites which are generally sterile as determined by ongoing surveillance of U.S. data.2

PNEUMOVAX (pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent) 23 is manufactured according to methods developed by the Merck Research Laboratories. Each 0.5 ml dose of vaccine contains 25 (ig of each polysaccharide type in isotonic saline solution containing 0.25% phenol as a preservative.

Table 1: 23 Pneumococcal Capsular Types Included in PNEUMOVAX (pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent) 23

Nomenclature Pneumococcal Types
Danish 1 2 3 4 5 6B** 7F 8 9N 9V** 10A 11A 12F 14** 15B 17F 18C 19F** 19A** 20 22F 23F** 33F
** These serotypes most frequently cause drug-resistant pneumococcal infections1

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23)?

Getting pneumococcal disease is much riskier than getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of pneumococcal polysaccharide 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 pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine are experienced:

  • a...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pneumovax

What are the precautions when taking pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent (Pneumovax)?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative phenol, latex or dry natural rubber in the vial stopper), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk....

Read All Potential Precautions of Pneumovax

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23)?

Getting pneumococcal disease is much riskier than getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of pneumococcal polysaccharide 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 pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine are experienced:

  • a...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pneumovax

What are the precautions when taking pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent (Pneumovax)?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative phenol, latex or dry natural rubber in the vial stopper), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk....

Read All Potential Precautions of Pneumovax

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23)?

Getting pneumococcal disease is much riskier than getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of pneumococcal polysaccharide 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 pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine are experienced:

  • a...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pneumovax

What are the precautions when taking pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent (Pneumovax)?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative phenol, latex or dry natural rubber in the vial stopper), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk....

Read All Potential Precautions of Pneumovax

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23)?

Getting pneumococcal disease is much riskier than getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of pneumococcal polysaccharide 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 pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine are experienced:

  • a...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Pneumovax

What are the precautions when taking pneumococcal vaccine polyvalent (Pneumovax)?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative phenol, latex or dry natural rubber in the vial stopper), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk....

Read All Potential Precautions of Pneumovax


Pneumovax Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Injection site reactions (e.g., pain, redness, swelling, hard lump), muscle/joint aches, or fever may occur. Ask your doctor whether you should take a fever/pain reducer (e.g., acetaminophen) to help treat these symptoms. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual weakness, tingling/numbness of the hands/feet, easy bleeding/bruising, swollen glands.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice any other effects not listed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US, you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as the preservative phenol, latex or dry natural rubber in the vial stopper), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever.

This vaccine is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Pneumovax Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23

Generic Name: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV adult, 23-valent) (Pronunciation: new moe CAW cull pah lee SAH cah ride)

  • What is pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • How is pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine administered (Pneumovax)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Pneumovax)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Pneumovax)?
  • What should I avoid before or after getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • What other drugs will affect pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?

Pneumococcal disease is a serious disease caused by a bacteria. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) exposes the individual to a small dose of the bacteria (or a protein from the bacteria) and causes the body to develop immunity to the disease.

Pneumococcal infection can cause ear infection, sinus infection, pneumonia, blood infection (bacteremia), and meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain). About 1 out of every 20 people who get pneumococcal pneumonia dies from it, as do about 2 out of every 10 who get bacteremia, and 3 out of 10 who get meningitis. Pneumococcal disease kills more people in the United States every year than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined.

PPV (adult, 23-valent) is recommended for: all adults 65 years of age and older; anyone over 2 years of age who has long-term health problems such as sickle cell disease; heart disease; lung disease; alcoholism; diabetes; cirrhosis; or leaks of cerebrospinal fluid; anyone over 2 years of age who has a condition that lowers the body's resistance to infection such as: Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma, leukemia, kidney failure, multiple myeloma, nephrotic syndrome, damaged spleen or no spleen, or organ transplant; anyone over 2 years of age who is taking any drug or treatment that lowers the body's resistance to infection such as long-term steroids, radiation therapy, and certain cancer drugs; and all Alaskan natives and certain Native American populations.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine can help prevent the disease. Many more people would get the disease if vaccination did not occur.

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?

Getting pneumococcal disease is much riskier than getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of pneumococcal polysaccharide 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 pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine 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 within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot; or
  • high fever; or
  • behavior changes.

About half of those who get PPV have very mild side effects, such as redness or pain where the shot is given. Less and 1% develop fever, muscle aches, or more severe local reactions.

Your doctor may recommend reducing fever or pain that may occur 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 hours. Your healthcare provider can tell you the appropriate dosages of these medications.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Contact your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What is the most important information I should know about pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax)?

People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. Those who are moderately or severely ill or have a fever should usually wait until they recover before getting pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

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