Prevnar

Generic Name: pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (pediatric only) (NOO moe KOK al KON joo gate)
Brand Names: Prevnar

What is Prevnar?

Prevnar (pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate) vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Prevnar contains 7 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 works by exposing your child to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. Prevnar will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Prevnar is for use only in children between the ages of 6 weeks and 10 years old.

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

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

Important information

Prevnar 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.

In a child older than 6 months who has not yet received a Prevnar vaccine, the first dose can be given any time from the age of 7 months through 9 years (before the 10th birthday).

If the child is less than 1 year old at the time of the first Prevnar shot, he or she will need 2 booster doses. If the child is 12 to 23 months old at the time of the first Prevnar 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 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. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving Prevnar.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving Prevnar. However, like any medicine, Prevnar can cause side effects. 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

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving a Prevnar vaccination. 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 Prevnar if he or she has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a pneumococcal or diphtheria vaccine.

To make sure your child can safely receive Prevnar, tell your doctor if your child has any of these other conditions:

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

  • a history of seizures;

  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or

  • if the child is taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven).

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving Prevnar.

How is Prevnar given?

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

The Prevnar 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.

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

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

  • Age 7-11 months: two Prevnar 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 injections at least 2 months apart;

  • Age 2 months to 9 years (before the 10th birthday): one Prevnar injection.

The timing of a vaccination with Prevnar 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.

A child who is between the ages of 24 months and 5 years old may need 1 or 2 additional doses of Prevnar if the child did not receive all recommended doses on a prior schedule, or if the child has certain medical conditions or a weak immune system.

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. 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 is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid?

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

Prevnar side effects

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

  • easy bruising or bleeding; or

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

Less serious Prevnar side effects may include:

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

  • weakness, tired feeling;

  • crying, fussiness;

  • drowsiness, restless sleep;

  • low fever (102 degrees or less);

  • vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite; 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?

Before receiving Prevnar, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.

Also tell the doctor if your child has 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 your child is using any of these medications, he or she 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 Prevnar. 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 may have additional information about Prevnar. 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 Prevnar vaccine 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: 2.01. Revision Date: 2012-1-13, 6:22:07 PM.

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