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Anthrax vaccine adsorbed Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 24, 2022.

For the Consumer

Applies to anthrax vaccine adsorbed: suspension

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, anthrax vaccine adsorbed may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking anthrax vaccine adsorbed:

More common

  • Pain, redness, tenderness, or limited movement of the arm where the injection is given

Less common

  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin

Incidence not known

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • chills
  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives or welts, skin rash
  • joint or muscle pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • redness of the skin
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of anthrax vaccine adsorbed may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Incidence not known

  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • dark-colored urine
  • difficulty with moving
  • feeling of warmth
  • hair loss or thinning of the hair
  • muscle cramps or spasms
  • muscle pain or stiffness
  • nausea
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • swollen joints
  • trouble sleeping

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to anthrax vaccine adsorbed: injectable suspension, subcutaneous suspension


The most common adverse events were injection site reactions (tenderness, pain, erythema, edema, arm motion limitation), muscle aches, headache, and fatigue.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Tenderness (72%), erythema (71%), warmth (51%), induration (40%), edema (46%), nodule (42%), itching (26%), arm motion limitation (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Bruise

Postmarketing reports: Lump[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (11%)

Postmarketing reports: Paresthesia syncope, dizziness, tremor, ulnar nerve neuropathy[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fatigue (13%)

Postmarketing reports: Malaise, pain, cellulitis, flu-like symptoms[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Muscle ache, tender/painful axillary adenopathy

Postmarketing reports: Myalgia, arthralgia, arthropathy, rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis, angioedema, rash, urticaria, erythema multiforme, anaphylactoid reactions, and Stevens Johnson syndrome)[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Skin hyperpigmentation, alopecia, pruritus, rash, urticaria[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Nausea[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Flushing[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Insomnia[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Biothrax (anthrax vaccine adsorbed)." Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (2003):

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.