rabies vaccine

Generic Name: rabies vaccine (human diploid cell) (RAY beez vax EEN, HUE man DYE ploid sel)
Brand Name: Imovax Rabies

What is rabies vaccine?

Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus. Rabies is mainly a disease of animals. Humans get rabies when they are bitten by an infected animal. There may be no symptoms at first, but weeks or even years after a bite from an infected animal, rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, irritability, fever, seizures, hallucinations, and paralysis. Rabies can be fatal.

You are more likely to be exposed to the rabies virus if you are a veterinarian, animal handler, rabies laboratory worker, or may otherwise come into contact with animals that could possibly carry the virus (including cats, dogs, foxes, skunks, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, and bats). Travel to certain countries may also increase your risk of exposure to rabies.

Rabies human diploid cell vaccine is used to prevent rabies in people who have been bitten by an animal (post-exposure) or otherwise may be exposed to the rabies virus (pre-exposure).

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

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

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life threatening allergic reaction to a rabies vaccine.

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 shot caused any side effects.

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The timing of this vaccination is very important for it to be effective. 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 should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving rabies vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life threatening allergic reaction to a rabies vaccine.

Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor if you have:

  • any type of infection or severe illness;

  • a weak immune system caused by disease (such as cancer, HIV, or AIDS);

  • a history of allergic reaction to neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo Fradin, Neo Tab); or

  • if you are receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

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 this vaccine could prevent. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this vaccine, especially if you have a high risk of infection with the bacteria that causes tetanus.

It is not known whether rabies 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.

How is rabies vaccine given?

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

For preventing rabies if you are at risk of exposure, you will need to receive a total of 3 injections. The second injection is usually given 7 days after the first, followed by a third injection 2 or 3 weeks later.

Depending on your risk of exposure to rabies, you may need to receive the rabies vaccine series every 2 years. If you work around live rabies virus, such as in a laboratory or a vaccine production area, you may need to receive a booster rabies vaccine every 6 months.

For treating rabies after you have been bitten or exposed, you will need to receive a total of 6 injections. The injections are usually given on Days 0, 3, 7, 14, 30, and 90. At the beginning of your treatment you may also receive a second injection with a rabies anti-serum or immune globulin (im-YOON GLOB-yoo-lin). This medicine is sometimes injected into or near the bite wound or injury where the rabies virus is likely to have entered your body.

The timing of this vaccination is very important for it to be effective. 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 for instructions if you miss a booster dose or if you get behind schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of rabies vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving rabies vaccine?

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

Rabies vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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 shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with rabies 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • a very high fever, (above 104 degrees);

  • weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes; or

  • problems with balance or eye movement, trouble speaking or swallowing.

Less serious side effects may include:

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

  • headache;

  • dizziness;

  • muscle pain; or

  • nausea, stomach pain.

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)

Rabies vaccine Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Rabies Prophylaxis:

Preexposure Prophylaxis:
1 mL IM for a total of 3 doses on days 0, 7, and 21 or 28.

Postexposure prophylaxis:
Not previously vaccinated:
1 mL IM for a total of 5 doses on days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28. ( ACIP Provisional Recommendations, 2009,: 1 mL/dose for 4 doses, on days 0, 3, 7, 14 with immunocompromised patients to receive a fifth dose on day 28). Rabies immune globulin should also be administered on day 0 at 20 units/kg (half of this is infiltrated at bite site if possible, and the remainder is administered IM).

Previously vaccinated:
1 mL IM for a total of 2 doses on days 0 and 3. Do not administer rabies immune globulin.

Booster:
1 mL IM every 2 years or as indicated by antibody titers. People with continuing high risk of exposure such as certain veterinarians, should have their serum tested for rabies antibodies every 2 years; others working with live rabies in laboratories or vaccine production facilities and who are at risk of inapparent exposure should be tested every 6 months.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Rabies Prophylaxis:

Preexposure Prophylaxis:
1 mL IM for a total of 3 doses on days 0, 7, and 21 or 28.

Postexposure prophylaxis:
Not previously vaccinated:
1 mL IM for a total of 5 doses on days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28. ( ACIP Provisional Recommendations, 2009,: 1 mL/dose for 4 doses, on days 0, 3, 7, 14 with immunocompromised patients to receive a fifth dose on day 28). Rabies immune globulin should also be administered on day 0 at 20 units/kg (half of this is infiltrated at bite site if possible, and the remainder is administered IM).

Previously vaccinated:
1 mL IM for a total of 2 doses on days 0 and 3. Do not administer rabies immune globulin.

Booster:
1 mL IM every 2 years or as indicated by antibody titers. People with continuing high risk of exposure such as certain veterinarians, should have their serum tested for rabies antibodies every 2 years; others working with live rabies in laboratories or vaccine production facilities and who are at risk of inapparent exposure should be tested every 6 months.

What other drugs will affect rabies vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor if you have recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

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

  • chemotherapy or radiation cancer treatments;

  • 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).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to receive rabies vaccine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect rabies vaccine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, and other vaccines you receive. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

More about rabies vaccine, human diploid cell

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Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist may have additional information about rabies vaccine (human diploid cell). You may also find additional information 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: 2.01. Revision Date: 2012-09-13, 9:23:14 AM.

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