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Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Subcutaneous route)

Pronunciation:

me-NINJ-oh-kok-kal pol-ee-SAK-a-ride VAX-een

Brand Names:

  • Menomune-A/C/Y/W-135

Dosage Forms:

  • Powder for Solution
  • Injectable

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Vaccine

Uses of This Medicine:

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection by certain groups of meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the disease.

The following information applies only to the meningococcal vaccine used for meningococcal bacteria Groups A, C, Y, and W-135. These groups cause approximately 50% of meningococcal meningitis cases in the U.S. The vaccine will not protect against infection caused by other meningococcal bacteria groups, such as Group B.

Meningococcal infection can cause life-threatening illnesses, such as meningococcal meningitis, which affects the brain, and meningococcemia, which affects the blood. Some persons with meningococcal meningitis and/or meningococcemia also may die. These diseases are more likely to occur in young children and in persons with certain diseases or conditions that make them more susceptible to a meningococcal infection or more likely to develop serious problems from a meningococcal infection.

Immunization against meningococcal disease is recommended for persons 2 years of age or older who are at risk of getting the disease because:

  • they have certain diseases or conditions that make them more susceptible to a meningococcal infection or more likely to develop serious problems from a meningococcal infection.
  • they are living in, working in, or visiting an area where there is a strong possibility of contracting meningococcal disease.

Usually a person needs to receive meningococcal vaccine only once. However, additional injections may be needed for young children who remain at high risk for meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a vaccine, the risks of taking the vaccine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this vaccine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

In general the use of meningococcal vaccine is restricted to persons 2 years of age and older; however, in some cases children as young as 3 months of age may be vaccinated. This vaccine has been tested in older children and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.

Older adults—

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of this vaccine in the elderly with use in other age groups, this vaccine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this vaccine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Receiving this vaccine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Measles Virus Vaccine, Live

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Severe illness with fever—The symptoms of the condition may be confused with the possible side effects of the vaccine

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For prevention of meningococcal meningitis:
      • Adults and children—One dose injected under the skin.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Symptoms of allergic reaction
Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
hives
itching, especially of feet or hands
reddening of skin, especially around ears
swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose
unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
Redness at place of injection—may last 1 or 2 days
tenderness, soreness, or pain at place of injection
Less common
Chills
fever over 100 °F (37.8 °C)
general feeling of discomfort or illness
hard lump at place of injection
headache
tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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