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M-M-R II Side Effects

Generic Name: measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name M-M-R II.

Not all side effects for M-M-R II may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine: powder for solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine:

Symptoms of allergic reaction
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • hives
  • itching, especially of feet or hands
  • reddening of skin, especially around ears
  • swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

If any of the following side effects occur while taking measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common
  • Fever higher than 103 °F (39.4 °C)
Less common
  • Pain or tenderness of eyes
  • Bruising or purple spots on skin
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • double vision
  • headache (severe or continuing)
  • irritability
  • pain, numbness, or tingling of hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • pain, tenderness, or swelling in testicles and scrotum
  • stiff neck
  • vomiting

Some of the side effects that can occur with measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Burning or stinging at place of injection
  • fever between 100 and 103 °F (37.7 and 39.4 °C)
  • skin rash
  • swelling of glands in neck
Less common
  • Aches or pain in joints
  • headache (mild)
  • itching, swelling, redness, tenderness, or hard lump at place of injection
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • vague feeling of bodily discomfort

The above side effects (especially aches or pain in joints) are more likely to occur in adults, particularly women.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine: subcutaneous powder for injection


The most common adverse events were injection site reactions and fever.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Redness at the injection site, injection site pain, injection site swelling
Common (1% to 10%): Injection site bruising, burning and/or stinging at injection site
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site rash
Postmarketing reports: Vesicles at injection site, wheal and flare at injection site[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fever equal to or greater than 38C (rectal) or 37.5C (axillary/oral)
Common (1% to 10%): Fever over 39.5C (rectal) or 39C (axillary/oral)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Otitis media, injury
Rare (less than 0.1%): Death from various and in some cases unknown causes
Postmarketing reports: Malaise, peripheral edema, papillitis, swelling, tenderness[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness
Rare (less than 0.1%): Febrile convulsions
Postmarketing reports: Encephalitis, cerebellitis, cerebellitis like symptoms (including transient gait disturbance and transient ataxia), Guillain-Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis, peripheral neuritis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, afebrile convulsions or seizures, encephalopathy, measles inclusion body encephalitis, paresthesia, polyneuritis, polyneuropathy, optic neuritis, retrobulbar neuritis, syncope[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, pharyngitis, bronchitis, cough, respiratory disorder, rhinitis
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nasopharyngitis, rhinorrhea, laryngitis, stridor, epistaxis, sinusitis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Pneumonia, pneumonitis
Postmarketing reports: Bronchial spasm, sore throat[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urticaria, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, skin exfoliation, nail disorder
Frequency not reported: Panniculitis
Postmarketing reports: Erythema multiforme, panniculitis, purpura, skin induration, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, pruritus[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nervousness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal crying, insomnia
Postmarketing reports: Irritability[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Parotid gland enlargement, vomiting, gastrointestinal disorder, toothache, enteritis, gastroenteritis, stomatitis, stomatitis aphthous, abdominal pain
Rare (less than 0.1%): Nausea
Frequency not reported: Pancreatitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Lymphadenopathy, anemia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura
Frequency not reported: Leukocytosis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Viral infection
Frequency not reported: Atypical measles
Postmarketing reports: Meningitis, measles-like syndrome, mumps-like syndrome (including orchitis, epididymitis, and parotitis)[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctivitis
Postmarketing reports: Ocular palsies, retinitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia
Frequency not reported: Diabetes mellitus[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Allergic reactions
Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reactions (including related phenomenon such as angioneurotic edema, facial edema, and peripheral edema), anaphylactoid reaction[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Vasculitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Epididymitis, orchitis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Arthralgia, arthritis, myalgia[Ref]

The vaccine has rarely been associated with chronic joint symptoms. The incidence of arthritis and arthralgia is generally higher in adult women than in children (women, 12% to 26%; children, 0% to 3%), and symptoms tend to be more marked and of longer duration, persisting for months or years (rare). In adolescent girls, the incidence of reactions appears to be intermediate between those seen in children and in women. These reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities, even in women over 35 years old.[Ref]


1. "Product Information. M-M-R II (measles/mumps/rubella virus vaccine)." Merck & Company Inc, West Point, PA.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

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