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Diphtheria antitoxin (Injection)

Medically reviewed on September 3, 2018

dif-THEER-ee-a an-ti-TOX-in

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Injectable
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antitoxin

Uses For diphtheria antitoxin

Diphtheria antitoxin is used to prevent and/or treat diphtheria infection in persons exposed to the disease.

Although rare in the U.S., diphtheria is a serious disease that can cause life-threatening illnesses. Diphtheria is transmitted through contact with an infected person or a carrier of the disease.

Diphtheria antitoxin is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional.

Before Using diphtheria antitoxin

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For diphtheria antitoxin, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to diphtheria antitoxin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Although there is no specific information comparing use of diphtheria antitoxin in children with use in other age groups, diphtheria antitoxin is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Geriatric

Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of diphtheria antitoxin in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, there is no evidence that the effects of diphtheria antitoxin in older adults differ from those in younger persons.

Breast Feeding

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of diphtheria antitoxin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems.

Proper Use of diphtheria antitoxin

Dosing

The dose of diphtheria antitoxin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of diphtheria antitoxin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For prevention of diphtheria:
      • Adults and children—One dose injected into a muscle.
    • For treatment of diphtheria:
      • Adults and children—One to six doses injected into a muscle.

Diphtheria antitoxin Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Chilly sensation
  • difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • feeling of discomfort
  • fever
  • inflammation of joints
  • hives
  • itching, especially of hands or feet
  • muscle aches
  • rapid rise in body temperature
  • rash
  • reddening of skin, especially around ears
  • swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose
  • swollen lymph glands
  • unusual tiredness or weakness, sudden and severe

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Further information

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

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