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Bexsero

Generic Name: meningococcal group B vaccine (me NIN je KOK al group B vax EEN)
Brand Name: Bexsero, Trumenba

What is Bexsero (meningococcal group B vaccine)?

Meningococcal disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. Meningococcal bacteria can infect the spinal cord and brain, causing meningitis that can be fatal. Meningococcal disease can also lead to permanent and disabling medical problems.

Meningococcal disease can spread from one person to another through small droplets of saliva released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The bacteria can also live on things the infected person has touched, such as a door handle or other surface. The bacteria can also be passed through kissing, or sharing a drinking glass or eating utensil with an infected person.

Meningococcal disease is more likely to occur in babies younger than 1 year, in young people ages 16 to 23 years, in anyone with a weak immune system, and in anyone exposed to an outbreak of the disease.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by serogroup B meningococcal bacteria. This vaccine contains four common strains of group B meningococcal bacteria.

This vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria (or a protein from the bacteria), which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is for use in children and young adults who are 10 to 25 years old. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that the best time to get this vaccine is between the ages of 16 and 18 years old.

Like any vaccine, the meningococcal group B vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What is the most important information I should know about this vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to meningococcal group B vaccine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to meningococcal group B vaccine.

If you have any of these other conditions, your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:

  • an allergy to latex rubber;

  • any condition that weakens the immune system (such as HIV, AIDS, or cancer); or

  • a condition for which you are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments.

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

It is not known whether meningococcal group B vaccine will harm an unborn baby. However, if you are pregnant, your doctor should determine whether you need this vaccine.

It is not known whether meningococcal group B passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is this vaccine given?

Meningococcal group B vaccine is recommended if:

  • you have been exposed to an outbreak of meningococcal disease;

  • you work in a laboratory and are exposed to meningococcal bacteria;

  • you have a medical problem affecting your spleen, or your spleen has been removed;

  • you use a medicine called eculizumab (Soliris); or

  • you have an immune system disorder called "persistent complement component deficiency."

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Meningococcal group B vaccine is given in a series of 2 or 3 shots. Booster shots are given at 1 or 2 months after the first shot. A third shot if needed is given 6 months after the first shot.

Your booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

There are other types of meningococcal vaccine available. When you receive a booster dose, make sure you are receiving a vaccine for meningococcal serogroup B and not for serogroups A, C, W, or Y.

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

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 this vaccine?

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

This vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult 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 should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Becoming infected with meningococcal disease and developing meningitis (infection of the spinal cord and lining of the brain) is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

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.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • feeling tired;

  • muscle or joint pain;

  • chills;

  • nausea; or

  • pain, redness, or a hard lump where the shot was given.

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 this vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received.

Other drugs may interact with meningococcal group B vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02.

Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: January 07, 2015

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