Menactra

Generic Name: meningococcal conjugate vaccine (me NIN je KOK al KON je gate vax EEN)
Brand Names: Menactra, Menveo

What is Menactra?

Menactra (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) is used to prevent infection caused by meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine contains four of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria.

Menactra works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes your body to develop immunity to the disease. Menactra will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Menactra is for use in children and adults between the ages of 9 months and 55 years old.

Like any vaccine, Menactra may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Becoming infected with meningitis (infection of the spinal cord and lining of the brain) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, Menactra can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Meningococcal disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. Meningococcal bacteria can infect the blood, spinal cord, and brain. These conditions can be fatal.

Meningococcal disease can spread from one person to another through small droplets of saliva that are expelled into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The bacteria can also be passed through contact with objects the infected person has touched, such as a door handle, or other surface. The bacteria can also be passed through kissing, or sharing a drinking glass or eating utensil with an infected person.

Important information

You should not receive Menactra if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a meningococcal or a diphtheria vaccine, if you are allergic to latex, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Before receiving Menactra, tell your doctor if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, a weak immune system, or if you are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment. If you have any of these conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all.

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You may feel faint after receiving Menactra. 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. Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving Menactra. If you ever need to receive a booster dose, you will need to tell your doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

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 recover before receiving Menactra.

Becoming infected with meningitis (infection of the spinal cord and lining of the brain) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Menactra. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Like any vaccine, Menactra may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Before receiving Menactra

You should not receive Menactra if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a meningococcal or a diphtheria vaccine, if you are allergic to latex, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

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

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as hemophilia;

  • any condition that weakens the immune system (such as HIV, AIDS, or cancer); or

  • if you are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to receive Menactra, or you may need to wait until your condition changes or you have completed your treatments.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Menactra will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon after receiving Menactra. If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of meningococcal conjugate vaccine on the baby. It is not known whether this vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Menactra without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Menactra should not be given to anyone younger than 9 months or older than 55 years of age.

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

How is Menactra given?

Menactra is injected into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

Menactra is recommended in the following situations:

  • for all children 9 months to 18 years old;

  • for people who are in the military;

  • for laboratory workers who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria;

  • for people who live in dormitories or other group housing; and

  • for people who travel or live among certain populations where meningococcal outbreak is common.

Menactra is usually given as a one-time injection to adults and children who are at least 2 years old. Unless your doctor's tells you otherwise, you will not need a booster vaccine.

In children younger than 2 years old, Menactra is given in two doses. The first shot is usually given when the child is 9 months old. The booster shot is then given 3 months later.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of Menactra. Your child may not be fully protected against disease if he or she does not receive the full series.

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 recover before receiving Menactra.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the Menactra shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to give your child.

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.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is not likely to occur.

What should I avoid?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Menactra side effects

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving a Menactra . When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects. Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Menactra: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving Menactra. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe weakness or unusual feeling in your arms and legs (may occur 2 to 4 weeks after you receive the vaccine);

  • high fever; or

  • unusual bleeding.

Less serious Menactra side effects may include:

  • low fever;

  • redness, pain, swelling, or a lump where the vaccine was injected;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • joint or muscle pain;

  • diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite; or

  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer.

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 Menactra?

Before receiving Menactra, tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received.

Also tell the doctor if you are using a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven), or if you have recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

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

  • 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 Menactra. 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 Menactra. 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 Menactra 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: 6.01. Revision Date: 5/15/2011 10:47:16 PM.

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