Generic Name: Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine (SA14-14-2) (JAP a NEEZ en SEF a LYE tis VYE rus VAX een)
Brand Names: Ixiaro
What is Ixiaro vaccine?
Ixiaro vaccine is used to help prevent Japanese encephalitis in adults and adolescents who are at least 17 years old.
Japanese encephalitis is a serious disease caused by a virus. It is the leading cause of viral encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in Asia. Encephalitis is an infection of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord. This infection often causes only mild symptoms, but prolonged swelling of the brain can cause permanent brain damage or death.
Japanese encephalitis virus is carried and spread by mosquitos.
Ixiaro vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. Ixiaro vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.
Ixiaro vaccine is recommended for people who live in or travel to areas where Japanese encephalitis is known to exist, or where an epidemic has recently occurred.
You should receive the Ixiaro vaccine and booster dose at least 1 week prior to your arrival in an area where you may be exposed to the virus.
Not everyone who travels to Asia needs to receive an Ixiaro vaccine. Follow your doctor instructions or the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ixiaro vaccine is also recommended for people who work in a research laboratory and may be exposed to Japanese encephalitis virus through needle-stick accidents or inhalation of viral droplets in the air.
Like any vaccine, the Ixiaro vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.
The Ixiaro vaccine is given in a series of 2 shots. The shots are usually 28 days apart. Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.
Ixiaro vaccine is for use in adults and adolescents who are at least 17 years old.
Ixiaro is recommended for people who live in or travel to areas where Japanese encephalitis is known to exist, or where an epidemic has recently occurred.
You should receive the vaccine and booster dose at least 1 week prior to your arrival in an area where you may be exposed to the virus.
Ixiaro is also recommended for people who work in a research laboratory and may be exposed to Japanese encephalitis virus through needle-stick accidents or inhalation of viral droplets in the air.
Becoming infected with Japanese encephalitis is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Ixiaro. However, like any medicine, Ixiaro can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.
Before receiving Ixiaro
You should not receive Ixiaro vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing Japanese encephalitis virus.
If you have any of these other conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:
a bleeding or blood clotting disorder; or
a weak immune system caused by disease or by taking certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments.
You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving Ixiaro.
Vaccines may be harmful to an unborn baby and generally should not be given to a pregnant woman. However, not vaccinating the mother could be more harmful to the baby if the mother becomes infected with a disease that Ixiaro vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with Japanese encephalitis virus. Do not receive Ixiaro vaccine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is Ixiaro given?
Ixiaro is injected into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.
Ixiaro vaccine is given in a series of 2 shots. The shots are usually 28 days apart. Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.
In addition to receiving the Ixiaro vaccine, use protective clothing, insect repellents, and mosquito netting around your bed to further prevent mosquito bites that could infect you with the Japanese encephalitis virus.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Contact your doctor if you miss a 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 to receive all recommended doses of Ixiaro. You may not be fully protected if you do not receive the full series.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of Ixiaro is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Ixiaro side effects
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot. Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving Ixiaro. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with Japanese encephalitis is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Ixiaro vaccine. However, like any medicine, Ixiaro 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 to Ixiaro: hives; difficulty breathing; dizziness, weakness, fast heart rate; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Less serious Ixiaro side effects may include:
headache, tired feeling;
muscle pain, back pain;
low fever, chills, flu symptoms;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough;
mild itching or skin rash;
nausea, diarrhea; or
pain, redness, tenderness, or a hard lump where the shot was given.
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 Ixiaro vaccine?
Before receiving Ixiaro, 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), 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 Ixiaro. 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 Ixiaro. 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.
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