Measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine Side Effects
Not all side effects for measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine 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
- 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)
- Pain or tenderness of eyes
- Bruising or purple spots on skin
- convulsions (seizures)
- double vision
- headache (severe or continuing)
- pain, numbness, or tingling of hands, arms, legs, or feet
- pain, tenderness, or swelling in testicles and scrotum
- stiff neck
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
- Aches or pain in joints
- headache (mild)
- itching, swelling, redness, tenderness, or hard lump at place of injection
- 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
Local side effects have included injection site burning/stinging, wheal and flare, erythema, swelling, induration, tenderness, and vesiculation.[Ref]
Significant central nervous system reactions such as encephalitis and encephalopathy have been very rarely temporally associated with measles vaccine (occurring within 30 days after vaccination); however, causality has not been determined in any case. A certain number of encephalitis cases unrelated to vaccines is expected to occur in a large childhood population; however, there is the possibility that some of these cases may have been caused by measles vaccine. The risk of measles vaccine-associated serious neurological disorders is much smaller than the risk for encephalitis and encephalopathy due to natural measles.
Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) has been very rarely reported in children after measles vaccination. Some of these cases may have been due to unrecognized measles during the first year of life or possibly due to the measles vaccination. The results of a retrospective case-controlled study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that measles vaccine has had the overall effect of protecting against SSPE by preventing measles with its greater risk of SSPE.
Measles/mumps/rubella vaccine has been associated with aseptic meningitis. Although a causal relationship between the Urabe strain of mumps vaccine and aseptic meningitis has been shown, there are no data that associate the currently used Jeryl Lynn vaccine strain to aseptic meningitis.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects have included encephalitis, encephalopathy, measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE), subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), febrile convulsions, afebrile convulsions or seizures, ataxia, polyneuritis, polyneuropathy, ocular palsies, and paresthesia.[Ref]
Hypersensitivity reactions have included anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid reactions, angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema), and bronchial spasm.[Ref]
Cardiovascular side effects have included vasculitis.[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects have included Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, erythema multiforme, urticaria, and rash.[Ref]
Endocrine side effects have included diabetes mellitus.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have included pancreatitis; diarrhea, vomiting, parotitis, and nausea.[Ref]
Genitourinary side effects have included orchitis.[Ref]
Hematologic side effects have included thrombocytopenia, purpura, regional lymphadenopathy, and leukocytosis.[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]
Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), polyneuritis, myalgia, paresthesia, and rarely chronic arthritis; these symptoms may also occur with natural rubella.[Ref]
Ocular side effects have included retinitis, optic neuritis, papillitis, retrobulbar neuritis, and conjunctivitis.[Ref]
Otic side effects have included nerve deafness and otitis media.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included pneumonitis, sore throat, cough, and rhinitis.[Ref]
A postmarketing surveillance study in Finland during 1982 to 1993 with 1.5 million pediatric and adult vaccinees reported no deaths or permanent sequelae.[Ref]
Other side effects have included panniculitis, atypical measles, fever, syncope, headache, dizziness, malaise, and irritability. Fatalities have been reported; however, causality has not been determined.
Health care providers should report any allergic or unusual adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967 (USA) and the manufacturer.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. M-M-R II (measles/mumps/rubella virus vaccine)." Merck & Company Inc, West Point, PA.
More about measles virus vaccine/mumps virus vaccine/rubella virus vaccine
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine
- Measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine live Subcutaneous, Intramuscular (Advanced Reading)
- Other brands: M-M-R II
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