Medication Guide App

Cervarix

Generic Name: human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, bivalent (HYOO man pap il OH ma VI rus vax EEN, bye VAY lent)
Brand Names: Cervarix

What is Cervarix?

Cervarix vaccine is used to prevent cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 in girls and young women ages 10 through 25. Human papillomavirus can cause genital warts, cancer of the cervix, and various cancers of the vulva or vagina.

Cervarix vaccine is used only in females. Another form of HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is used in both females and males. This medication guide provides information only for Cervarix.

Cervarix vaccine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

The bivalent form of HPV vaccine (Cervarix) is used only in females. Another form of HPV vaccine (Gardasil) is used in both females and males. This medication guide provides information only for Cervarix.

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

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Before receiving Cervarix, tell your doctor if you have a weak immune system, or if you are allergic to latex rubber.

Cervarix should not be used in place of having a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Developing cancer from HPV is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. However, like any medicine, Cervarix can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Cervarix will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.

Before receiving Cervarix

To make sure you can safely receive Cervarix, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a weak immune system; or

  • if you are allergic to latex rubber.

FDA pregnancy category B. Cervarix is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. However, you should not receive Cervarix without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before you have received all doses of this vaccine. It is not known whether HPV vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not receive Cervarix vaccine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Cervarix will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.

Cervarix will not prevent diseases caused by HPV types other than types 16 and 18. There are over 100 different types of HPV.

How is Cervarix given?

Cervarix is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle in your upper arm. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

Cervarix is given in a series of 3 shots. You may have the first shot at any time as long as you are between the ages of 10 and 25 years old. Then you will need to receive a second dose 1 month after your first shot, and a third dose 6 months after your first shot.

Be sure to receive all doses of the Cervarix vaccine recommended by your healthcare provider or your state's health department. You may not be fully protected if you do not receive the full series.

Cervarix should not be used in place of having a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you will miss an Cervarix booster dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

Be sure you receive all recommended doses of this vaccine. If you do not receive the full series of vaccines, you may not be fully protected against the disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid?

There may be certain other vaccines that should not be given at the same time as the Cervarix. Until you have completed the series of 3 Cervarixs, do not receive any other vaccine (including a flu shot) without first asking your doctor.

Cervarix side effects

You should not receive a booster vaccine if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot of Cervarix.

Developing cancer from HPV is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. However, like any medicine, Cervarix can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. You may feel faint after receiving Cervarix. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Other Cervarix side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • joint or muscle pain.

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • menstrual pain;

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough; or

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Cervarix?

Before receiving the Cervarix, tell the doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received.

Also tell the doctor if you have recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

  • an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine;

  • chemotherapy or radiation;

  • medications to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders, such as azathioprine (Imuran), efalizumab (Raptiva), etanercept (Enbrel), leflunomide (Arava), and others; or

  • medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection, such as basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf), muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with this vaccine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Cervarix. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 1/5/2011 3:04:43 PM.

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