Rabies vaccine (Injection)

Introduction

Rabies Vaccine (RAY-beez VAX-een)

Prevents infection caused by rabies virus. The vaccine can be given before or after you are exposed to the rabies virus.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

RabAvert, Imovax Rabies, Rabavert

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not receive rabies vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to it.

How to Use This Medicine

Injectable

  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • If you are a veterinarian, work with animals, or will be going to a country where rabies is common, you are at risk for exposure to the rabies virus. If you are getting the vaccine because you are at risk of being exposed to rabies, you will receive 3 doses on 3 different days within a 1-month period.
  • If you have been exposed to the rabies virus and you have not yet received the vaccine, you will need to get 4 doses on 4 different days within a 1-month period. You will also receive a shot of rabies immune globulin.
  • If you have an immune system problem, have not yet received the vaccine, and were exposed to the rabies virus, you will need a total of 5 doses on 5 different days within a 1-month period. You will also receive a shot of rabies immune globulin.
  • It is very important that you have the shots on the exact day your doctor tells you to.

If a dose is missed:

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Tell your doctor before you receive this vaccine if you are taking chloroquine, anticancer drugs, or cortisone drugs (such as dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, or Medrol®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows before you receive rabies vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of vaccine, or if you have an illness with fever now.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Fever.
  • Intense itching or hives.
  • Pain in your joints, like arthritis.
  • Pain, numbness, or weakness in your hands or feet.
  • Severe nausea or vomiting.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, or throat.
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Pain, redness, or swelling 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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