Diphtheria/tetanus vaccine (Injection)


Diphtheria Toxoid, Adsorbed (dif-THEER-ee-a TOX-oyd, ad-SORBD), Tetanus Toxoid (TET-n-us TOX-oyd)
Protects against infections caused by tetanus (lockjaw) and diphtheria.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not have this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to tetanus or diphtheria vaccine, or to thimerosal. This vaccine should not be used if you have an infection with fever.

How to Use This Medicine

  • An IM shot is given in your muscle, usually in your shoulder muscle.
  • The doctor or nurse will give you this shot.
  • You will probably have redness and swelling around the area where your shot is given. This is common and usually goes away after a couple of days.
  • You will need to get a "booster" shot 4 to 8 weeks after your first shot, and again 6 to 12 months later.
  • After your first set of shots, you should get one booster shot every 10 years.
If a dose is missed:
  • Try not to miss a dose.
  • Make another appointment to have your shot as soon as possible if you miss a dose.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking corticosteroid medicine such as prednisone.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before receiving this vaccine.
  • Before getting this vaccine, make sure your doctor knows if you have a bleeding disorder or if you have ever had a seizure caused by high fever.
  • This vaccine may not work as well if you have a bone marrow disorder, if you are HIV positive, or if you are receiving anti-cancer medicines.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Seizures.
  • Skin rash, hives, itching.
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, or tongue.
  • Fever of 103° F or more.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Redness, swelling, or a lump where the shot was given that does not go away after a few days.
  • Fever below 103° F with drowsiness or swollen glands.

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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