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Menomune A/C/Y/W-135

Generic Name: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (me NIN je KOK al POL ee SAK a ride vax EEN)
Brand Name: Menomune A/C/Y/W-135

What is Menomune A/C/Y/W-135 (meningococcal polysaccharide 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 that are expelled into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The bacteria can also be passed through contact with objects 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 polysaccharide vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by meningococcal bacteria. The vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes your body to develop immunity to the disease. Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine contains four of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria (A, C, W, and Y).

This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is for use in adults and children who are at least 2 years of age.

Like any vaccine, meningococcal polysaccharide 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 a meningococcal 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 a meningococcal 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;

  • pregnancy or breast-feeding;

  • a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome;

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

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

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 polysaccharide vaccine will harm an unborn baby. However, if you are pregnant, your doctor should determine whether you need this vaccine.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of this vaccine on the baby.

It is not known whether meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine 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 polysaccharide vaccine is recommended if:

  • you are older than 55 years and you live in or travel to an area where meningococcal disease is common; or

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

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) under the skin. You will receive this injection in a doctor's office or clinic setting.

Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine is usually given only once. Children and people who have higher risks of meningococcal infection may need a repeat dose of this vaccine.

Follow your doctor's instructions or the immunization schedule recommended by your local health department.

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 not likely 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; dizziness, weakness; fast heartbeats; 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe weakness or unusual feeling in your arms and legs (may occur 2 to 4 weeks after you receive the vaccine);

  • high fever; or

  • unusual behavior.

Common side effects may include:

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

  • diarrhea, general ill feeling;

  • headache, drowsiness, tired feeling;

  • joint pain; or

  • (in babies) fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer.

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 this vaccine?

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

Also tell the doctor if you have recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

  • an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine;

  • chemotherapy; or

  • radiation treatment.

If you are using any of these medications, you 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 meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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: 5.01.

Last reviewed: November 15, 2016
Date modified: September 05, 2017

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