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Gardasil 9 Vaccine

Generic Name: human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, 9-valent (HYOO man pap il OH ma VYE rus vax EEN, 9-VAY lent)
Brand Names: Gardasil 9

Medically reviewed on August 20, 2018

What is Gardasil 9 vaccine?

Gardasil 9 (human papillomavirus (HPV)) vaccine is used in both females and males. Another form of HPV vaccine (Cervarix) is used only in females. This medication guide provides information only for Gardasil 9.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause genital warts, cancer of the cervix, anal cancer, and various cancers of the vulva or vagina.

Gardasil 9 vaccine is used in girls and young women ages 9 through 26 to prevent cervical/vaginal/anal cancers or genital warts caused by certain types of HPV.

Gardasil 9 vaccine is also used in boys and young men ages 9 through 26 to prevent anal cancer or genital warts caused by certain types of HPV.

You may receive Gardasil 9 even if you have already had genital warts, or had a positive HPV test or abnormal pap smear in the past. However, this vaccine will not treat active genital warts or HPV-related cancers, and it will not cure HPV infection.

Gardasil 9 vaccine only prevents diseases caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. It will not prevent diseases caused by other types of HPV.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends HPV vaccine for all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 years old. The vaccine is also recommended in teenage boys and girls who have not already received the vaccine or have not completed all booster shots.

Like any vaccine, the Gardasil 9 may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Important Information

You should not receive a Gardasil 9 booster vaccine if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

You may feel faint during the first 15 minutes after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure-like reactions after receiving this vaccine.

Before taking this medicine

To make sure Gardasil 9 vaccine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a weak immune system;

  • an allergy to yeast; or

  • treatment with cancer medicine, steroids, or other drugs that can weaken your immune system.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you get pregnant before you receive all needed doses of this vaccine, you may need to wait until after your baby is born to finish the series of shots.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of human papillomavirus vaccine on the baby.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using human papillomavirus vaccine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

Gardasil 9 vaccine will not protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.

How is Gardasil 9 vaccine given?

Gardasil 9 vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle in your upper arm or thigh. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Gardasil 9 vaccine is given in a series of 3 shots. You may have the first shot at any time as long as you are between the ages of 9 and 26 years. The second dose is given 2 to 6 months after your first shot, and a third dose is given 6 to 12 months after your first shot.

Be sure to receive all recommended doses of this vaccine or you may not be fully protected against disease.

Gardasil 9 vaccine should not be used in place of having a routine pelvic exam, Pap smear, or anal exam to screen for cervical or anal cancer.

Gardasil 9 Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis:
Aged 15 to 26 years: 0.5 mL, IM, at 0, 2, and 6 months.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis:

Aged 9 to 14 years: 0.5 mL, IM, at 0, 2, and 6 months OR 0.5 mL IM, at 0 and a second dose between 6 and 12 months later.

Uses: For the prevention of cervical, vulvar, and anal cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in females, and prevention of anal cancer, genital warts, and anal intraepithelial neoplasia cause by HPV in males.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you miss a booster dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving Gardasil 9 vaccine?

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

Gardasil 9 vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Gardasil 9: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.

You may feel faint after receiving this vaccine. Some people have had seizure like reactions after receiving this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain under observation during the first 15 minutes after the injection.

Developing cancer from HPV is much more dangerous to your health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Common Gardasil 9 side effects may include:

  • pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given;

  • headache;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • fever; or

  • feeling tired.

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 Gardasil 9 vaccine?

Other drugs may interact with human papillomavirus vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Gardasil 9 only for the indication prescribed.

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

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