diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine
Generic Name: diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) (dif THEER ee uh, TET a nus, ay SEL yoo ler per TUS iss)
Brand Name: Daptacel (DTaP), Infanrix (DTaP), Infanrix (DTaP) Preservative Free, Tripedia (DTaP), Boostrix (obsolete1)
What is diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine?
Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis are serious diseases caused by bacteria.
Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat, and airways. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death.
Pertussis (whooping cough) causes coughing so severe that it interferes with eating, drinking, or breathing. These spells can last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures (convulsions), brain damage, and death.
Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases.
Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound.
The diphtheria, tetanus acellular, and pertussis pediatric vaccine (also called DTaP) is used to help prevent these diseases in children who are ages 6 weeks to 6 years old (before the child has reached his or her 7th birthday).
This vaccine works by exposing your child 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.
Like any vaccine, the DTaP vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.
Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
Before taking this medicine
Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing diphtheria, pertussis, or tetanus.
Your child may not be able to receive this vaccine if he or she has ever received a similar vaccine that caused any of the following:
a very high fever (over 105 degrees);
excessive crying for 3 hours or longer;
a neurologic disorder or disease affecting the brain (within 7 days after receiving a DTaP vaccine);
fainting or going into shock;
seizure (convulsions); or
Guillain-Barré syndrome (within 6 weeks after receiving a vaccine containing tetanus).
If your child has any of these other conditions, this vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all:
a seizure disorder; or
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.
The pediatric version of this vaccine (Daptacel, Infanrix, Tripedia) should not be given to anyone over the age of 6 years old. Another vaccine is available for use in older children and adults.
How is this vaccine given?
This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.
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, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and again between 4 and 6 years of age.
The timing of this vaccination is very important for it to be effective. Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.
Your child may receive other vaccines at the same time as this vaccine vaccine.
Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to give your child.
It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.
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.
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 doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
This vaccine side effects
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 any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shot caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with diphtheria, pertussis, 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 extremely low.
Call your doctor at once if the child has any of these side effects within 2 to 3 days after receiving a DTaP vaccine:
extreme drowsiness, fainting;
fussiness, irritability, crying for 3 hours or longer;
seizure (black-out or convulsions); or
a high fever within a few hours or a few days after the vaccine.
Some side effects are more likely to occur after the 4th or 5th booster dose.
Less serious side effects include:
redness, pain, or tenderness where the shot was given;
swelling of the entire arm or leg in which the shot was given (may last for up to 7 days);
mild fussiness or crying;
drowsiness, tiredness; or
vomiting, 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.
What other drugs will affect diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine?
Before your child receives this vaccine, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.
Also tell the doctor if your child has recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:
an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine;
medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection.
If your child is using any of these medications, he or she may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with this vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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: 4.01.
Date modified: February 01, 2018
Last reviewed: September 12, 2017