Prevnar 13

Generic Name: pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine (NOO moe KOK al 13-VAY lent KON joo gate VAX een)
Brand Names: Prevnar 13

What is Prevnar 13?

Prevnar 13 vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Prevnar 13 contains 13 different types of pneumococcal bacteria.

Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. Pneumococcal bacteria can infect the sinuses and inner ear. It can also infect the lungs, blood, and brain, and these conditions can be fatal.

Prevnar 13 works by exposing you to a small amount of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. Prevnar 13 will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Prevnar 13 is for use in children from 6 weeks to 5 years old, and in adults who are 50 and older.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Prevnar 13. However, like any medicine, Prevnar 13 can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Like any vaccine, Prevnar 13 may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Important information

For children, Prevnar 13 vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months of age. Adults usually receive only one dose of the vaccine.

In a child older than 6 months who has not yet received Prevnar 13, the first dose can be given any time from the age of 7 months through 5 years (before the 6th birthday).

If the child is less than 1 year old at the time of the first Prevnar 13 shot, he or she will need 2 booster doses. If the child is 12 to 23 months old at the time of the first shot, he or she will need 1 booster dose. A child who is 2 years or older at the time of the first shot may need only the one shot and no booster doses.

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The timing of a vaccination with Prevnar 13 is very important for it to be effective. Your child's 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. Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving Prevnar 13. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the 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 get better before receiving Prevnar 13.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving Prevnar 13. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Be sure to keep your child on a regular schedule for other immunizations against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, hepatitis, or varicella (chicken pox). Your doctor or state health department can provide you with a recommended immunization schedule.

Before receiving Prevnar 13

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving Prevnar 13. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects. You should not receive Prevnar 13 if you ever had a severe allergic reaction to a pneumococcal or diphtheria vaccine.

Before your child receives Prevnar 13, tell your doctor if the child was born prematurely.

To make sure you or your child can safely receive Prevnar 13, tell your doctor if you or your child have any of these other conditions:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising; or

  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using 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 Prevnar 13.

How is Prevnar 13 given?

Prevnar 13 is injected into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

For children, Prevnar 13 vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months of age. Adults usually receive only one dose of the vaccine.

The first injection should be given no earlier than 6 weeks of age. Allow at least 2 months to pass between injections.

If your child is older than 6 months, he or she can still receive Prevnar 13 on the following schedule:

  • Age 7-11 months: two Prevnar 13 injections at least 4 weeks apart, followed by a third injection after the child turns 1 year (at least 2 months after the second injection);

  • Age 12-23 months: two Prevnar 13 injections at least 2 months apart;

  • Age 24 months to 5 years (before the 6th birthday): one Prevnar 13 injection.

The timing of a vaccination with Prevnar 13 is very important for it to be effective. Your child's 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.

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.

Be sure to keep your child on a regular schedule for other immunizations such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis, and varicella (chicken pox). Your doctor or state health department can provide you with a recommended immunization schedule.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if your child will miss a booster dose or gets behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of Prevnar 13. If your child does not receive the full series of vaccines, he or she may not be fully protected against the disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Prevnar 13 is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid?

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

Prevnar 13 side effects

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first Prevnar 13 shot. Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving Prevnar 13. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects. Get emergency medical help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Prevnar 13: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you or your child has a serious side effect such as:

  • high fever (103 degrees or higher);

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • wheezing, trouble breathing;

  • severe stomach pain, severe vomiting or diarrhea;

  • easy bruising or bleeding; or

  • severe pain, itching, irritation, or skin changes where the shot was given.

Less serious Prevnar 13 side effects include

  • crying, fussiness;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • drowsiness, sleeping more or less than usual;

  • mild redness, swelling, tenderness, or a hard lump where the shot was given;

  • loss of appetite, mild vomiting or diarrhea;

  • low fever (102 degrees or less), chills; or

  • mild skin rash.

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 Prevnar 13?

Before receiving Prevnar 13, tell the doctor about all other vaccines you or your child have recently received.

Also tell the doctor if you or your child 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).

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.

There may be other drugs that can interact with Prevnar 13. 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 Prevnar 13. 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 Prevnar 13 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: 4.01. Revision Date: 2012-1-16, 2:38:19 AM.

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