Generic Name: polio vaccine, inactivated (IPV) (POE lee oh)
Brand Name: Ipol
What is polio vaccine?
Polio affects the central nervous system and spinal cord. It can cause muscle weakness and paralysis. Polio is a life threatening condition because it can paralyze the muscles that help you breathe.
The polio vaccine is used to help prevent these diseases in children and adults.
This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.
Polio vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 6 weeks old.
Like any vaccine, the polio vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.
What is the most important information I should know about polio vaccine?
You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing live or inactivated polio virus, or if you are allergic to 2-phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B.
You should not receive this vaccine if you have moderate or severe illness with a fever.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving polio vaccine?
You should not receive this vaccine if:
you have moderate or severe illness with a fever;
you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing live or inactivated polio virus; or
you are allergic to 2-phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, neomycin, streptomycin, or polymyxin B.
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
To make sure polio vaccine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
a history of Guillain Barré syndrome (or if this was a reaction to a previous vaccine).
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 this vaccine.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this vaccine will harm an unborn baby. However, if you are at a high risk for infection with polio during pregnancy, your doctor should determine whether you need this vaccine.
It is not known whether polio vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is polio vaccine administered?
This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) under the skin or into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.
Polio vaccine is recommended for all children. It is also recommended for adults in the following situations:
people who have never been vaccinated against polio;
people who travel to areas where polio is common;
people who handle polio virus in a laboratory or other setting; or
people who treat patients who have polio.
Polio vaccine is given in a series of shots. Children should receive a total of 4 shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 to 18 months, and then at 4 to 6 years of age.
Adults who have never been vaccinated against polio should receive a total of 3 shots. Booster shots should be given 1 to 2 months after the first shot, and then 6 to 12 months after the second shot.
Adults who may have received prior polio vaccine(s) should receive 1 or 2 shots, no matter how long it has been since the first vaccination(s).
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.
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 you receive all recommended doses of this vaccine. You may not be fully protected against disease if you do not receive the full series.
What happens if I overdose?
An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid before or after getting polio vaccine?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Polio vaccine 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 this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with poliovirus is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine 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.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
extreme drowsiness, fainting;
seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
high fever (within a few hours or a few days after the vaccine).
Common side effects include:
redness, pain, swelling, or a lump where the shot was given;
joint pain, body aches;
drowsiness, mild fussiness or crying; 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: Ipol side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect polio vaccine?
Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received.
Other drugs may interact with polio vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More Ipol resources
Compare Ipol with other medications
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. 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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