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Diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis (acellular), polio, and tetanus vaccine

Generic name: diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis (acellular), polio, and tetanus vaccine (dif THEER ee a, hep a TYE tis B, per TUS iss, POE lee oh, and TET a nus)
Brand name: Pediarix
Dosage forms: intramuscular suspension (-)
Drug class: Vaccine combinations

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Nov 2, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, and tetanus vaccine?

Diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, and tetanus are serious diseases caused by bacteria or virus.

Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death.

Hepatitis is a serious disease caused by a virus. Hepatitis B causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.

Pertussis (whooping cough) causes severe long-lasting episodes of cough that can interfere with eating, drinking, or breathing. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

Polio affects the central nervous system and spinal cord, causing muscle weakness and paralysis. Polio can be fatal if it paralyzes muscles that help you breathe.

Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles that can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open the mouth, swallow, or breathe. Tetanus can lead to death.

Diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, and polio are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound.

The diphtheria, hepatitis B, acellular pertussis, polio, and tetanus vaccine is used to help prevent these diseases in children who are ages 6 weeks to 6 years old (before the 7th birthday.

This vaccine helps your child's body develop immunity to these diseases, but will not treat an active infection your child already has.

Like any vaccine, the diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis acellular, polio, and tetanus vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Warnings

Becoming infected with diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, or tetanus is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine.

Before taking this medicine

A hepatitis B vaccine will not protect your child against infection with hepatitis A, C, and E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It may also not protect the child from hepatitis B if he or she is already infected with the virus, even if the child does not yet show symptoms.

Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she has:

  • an allergy to yeast, neomycin, or polymyxin B;

  • a history of life-threatening allergic reaction to a vaccine containing diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, or tetanus;

  • a history of decreased consciousness, seizures, or coma within 7 days after receiving a pertussis vaccine; or

  • a progressive or untreated nervous system problem or brain disorder (such as infantile spasms or uncontrolled epilepsy).

Your child may not be able to receive this vaccine if he or she has ever received a pertussis vaccine that caused:

  • within 48 hours after the vaccine--a very high fever (over 104 degrees), excessive crying for 3 hours or longer, fainting or going into shock; or

  • within 3 days after the vaccine--a seizure.

Tell the vaccination provider if your child has ever had:

  • seizures;

  • chemotherapy or radiation;

  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine);

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks after receiving a tetanus vaccine;

  • an allergy to latex rubber; or

  • if the child was born prematurely.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle.

This vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months and 6 months of age (doses spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart).

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if you will 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.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine, or the child may not be fully protected against disease.

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 vaccination provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

This vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if your child has signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot. Keep track of all side effects your child has. If the child receives a booster dose, tell the vaccination provider if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, or tetanus is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is low.

Call your doctor at once if the child has:

  • extreme drowsiness, fainting;

  • fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer;

  • a seizure; or

  • high fever (can occur for up to 4 days after the vaccine).

You may be able to treat fever or pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others). Follow the label directions or your vaccination provider's instructions.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

Common side effects include:

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

  • mild fever;

  • mild fussiness or crying;

  • drowsiness; or

  • loss of appetite.

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.

Diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis (acellular), polio, and tetanus vaccine dosing information

Usual Pediatric Dose for Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly at 2, 4, and 6 months of age

Comments:
-Administer at 6- to 8-week intervals, preferably 8 weeks.
-First dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
-Three doses of this vaccine constitute a primary immunization course for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis, and the complete immunization course for hepatitis B.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Diphtheria Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly at 2, 4, and 6 months of age

Comments:
-Administer at 6- to 8-week intervals, preferably 8 weeks.
-First dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
-Three doses of this vaccine constitute a primary immunization course for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis, and the complete immunization course for hepatitis B.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pertussis Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly at 2, 4, and 6 months of age

Comments:
-Administer at 6- to 8-week intervals, preferably 8 weeks.
-First dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
-Three doses of this vaccine constitute a primary immunization course for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis, and the complete immunization course for hepatitis B.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tetanus Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly at 2, 4, and 6 months of age

Comments:
-Administer at 6- to 8-week intervals, preferably 8 weeks.
-First dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
-Three doses of this vaccine constitute a primary immunization course for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis, and the complete immunization course for hepatitis B.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Hepatitis B Prophylaxis:

0.5 mL intramuscularly at 2, 4, and 6 months of age

Comments:
-Administer at 6- to 8-week intervals, preferably 8 weeks.
-First dose may be given as early as 6 weeks of age.
-Three doses of this vaccine constitute a primary immunization course for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and poliomyelitis, and the complete immunization course for hepatitis B.

What other drugs will affect diphtheria, hepatitis B, pertussis, polio, and tetanus vaccine?

The vaccine may not work as well if your child receives drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect this vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Does Diphtheria toxoid/hepatitis b pediatric vaccine/pertussis, acellular/poliovirus vaccine, inactivated/tetanus toxoid interact with my other drugs?

Enter other medications to view a detailed report.

Further information

  • Your vaccination provider, pharmacist, or doctor 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.

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