Pneumococcal vaccine (Injection)


Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent (NOO-moe-KOK-al VAX-een pol-ee-VAY-lent)
Prevents severe infections, such as pneumonia and meningitis.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Pneumovax 23

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive pneumococcal vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to it, or if you are in the first 3 months of pregnancy. This vaccine is not recommended in infants and children under 2 years of age.

How to Use This Medicine

  • You may receive the shot only once unless your doctor decides you need another shot.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had this type of shot before.
  • The shot can be given in the shoulder muscle or in the thigh muscle.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This vaccine is usually given only once as side effects may occur more often if given a second time. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have received pneumococcal vaccine in the past.
  • Check with your doctor before receiving pneumococcal vaccine if you have an illness with a fever.
  • Patients who are getting medicine like prednisone, receiving chemotherapy for cancer, or who have HIV infection or AIDS may not be fully protected by this vaccine. Because there may be some benefit, your doctor may still want you to receive the vaccine.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Trouble breathing, chest tightness, or wheezing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, or throat
  • Severe skin rash, intense itching, or hives
  • Unexplained high fever
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Soreness, redness, or a lump where the shot was given

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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