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Measles virus vaccine

Generic Name: measles virus vaccine (MEE-zills)
Brand Name: Attenuvax

Measles virus vaccine is used for:

Preventing measles.

Measles virus vaccine is a vaccine. It works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies to measles.

Do NOT use measles virus vaccine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in measles virus vaccine, including gelatin
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, dizziness) to neomycin
  • you have a weakened immune system (eg, advanced HIV, AIDS, decreased gamma globulin levels), blood problems, cancer affecting the blood or bone marrow (eg, leukemia), a fever, or tuberculosis (TB)
  • you are pregnant
  • you are taking immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using measles virus vaccine:

Some medical conditions may interact with measles virus vaccine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are allergic to eggs
  • if you have an infection, a tumor, HIV, a history of seizures or head injury, or a family history of seizures or weak immune systems
  • if you have had a recent blood or plasma transfusion, or have received immune globulin or a tuberculin test

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with measles virus vaccine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), interferon, or vitamin A because the effectiveness of measles virus vaccine may be decreased, or risk of infection may be increased
  • Immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine) because the effectiveness of measles virus vaccine may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if measles virus vaccine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use measles virus vaccine:

Use measles virus vaccine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Measles virus vaccine is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using measles virus vaccine at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • If measles virus vaccine contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of measles virus vaccine, contact your doctor to set up a new dosing schedule.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use measles virus vaccine.

Important safety information:

  • Measles virus vaccine may cause dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to measles virus vaccine.
  • Measles virus vaccine may decrease the effectiveness of tuberculin tests. If you are scheduled to have a tuberculin test within 6 weeks after receiving this vaccination, contact your doctor. You may need to reschedule your tuberculin test.
  • Keep written documentation of all vaccinations received to help avoid unnecessary doses. Be sure that your doctor knows the dates that you have received other vaccinations.
  • Use measles virus vaccine with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 months of age. Use of measles virus vaccine is not recommended in CHILDREN younger than 6 months of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use measles virus vaccine if you are pregnant. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. Avoid becoming pregnant for at least 3 months after receiving measles virus vaccine. It is unknown if measles virus vaccine is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using measles virus vaccine, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of measles virus vaccine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Burning or stinging at the injection site; diarrhea; dizziness; general unwell feeling; headache; irritability; mild fever; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); fainting; loss of coordination; mental or mood changes; numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision or hearing changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of measles virus vaccine:

Measles virus vaccine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using measles virus vaccine at home, store measles virus vaccine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep measles virus vaccine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about measles virus vaccine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Measles virus vaccine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take measles virus vaccine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about measles virus vaccine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to measles virus vaccine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using measles virus vaccine.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.