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Menomune A/C/Y/W-135

Generic Name: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (me NIN je KOK al POL ee SAK a ride vax EEN)
Brand Name: Menomune A/C/Y/W-135

What is Menomune A/C/Y/W-135 (meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine)?

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.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine contains four of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine 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. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 3 months of age.

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

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine?

Developing 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, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. If you ever need to receive another meningococcal vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first shot caused any side effects.

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Do not receive this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a meningococcal vaccine, or if you are allergic to a preservative called thimerosol.

Before receiving meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, tell your doctor if you have a weak immune system, if you are allergic to latex rubber, or if you are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment. If you have any of these conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed.

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.

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

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a meningococcal vaccine, or if you are allergic to a preservative called thimerosol.

If you have any of these other conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:

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

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

  • if you are allergic to latex rubber.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

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 this vaccine on the baby.

It is not known whether meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

This vaccine should not be given to anyone younger than 3 months old.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection under the skin. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is usually given only once. Children and people who have higher risks of meningococcal infection may need a repeat dose of this vaccine 2 or 3 years after receiving the first shot.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended in the following situations:

  • for people who do not have a spleen;

  • 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.

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.

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 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.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is usually given only once, you are not likely to miss a dose. Contact your doctor if you do not receive all recommended doses.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after getting this vaccine?

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

This vaccine side effects

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. If you ever need to receive another meningococcal vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first shot caused any side effects.

Developing 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, 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 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 side effects may include:

  • low fever, chills;

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

  • headache; or

  • tired feeling.

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 this vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven).

Tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received. Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine can be given at the same time as most other vaccinations, but should not be given together with a pertussis (whooping cough) or typhoid vaccine.

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

  • azathioprine (Imuran);

  • basiliximab (Simulect);

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf);

  • etanercept (Enbrel);

  • leflunomide (Arava);

  • muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone);

  • mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept);

  • sirolimus (Rapamune);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer;

  • a steroid medicine such as betamethasone (Celestone), cortisone (Cortone), dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex), hydrocortisone (Cortef, Hydrocortone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred), prednisone (Meticorten, Sterapred), triamcinolone (Aristocort), and others; or

  • an inhaled or nasal steroid such as beclomethasone (Qvar, Beconase), budesonide (Pulmicort, Rhinocort, Symbicort), flunisolide (Aerobid, Nasarel), fluticasone (Advair, Flovent, Flonase, Veramyst), mometasone (Asmanex, Nasonex), or triamcinolone (Azmacort, Nasacort).

If you are using any of these medications, you may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with meningococcal polysaccharide 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.

More about Menomune A/C/Y/W-135 (meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine)

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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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. 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. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 2011-06-29, 10:34:47 AM.

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