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M-M-R II Side Effects

Generic name: measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 21, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name M-M-R II.

For the Consumer

Applies to measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine: powder for solution

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention

Along with its needed effects, measles virus vaccine/mumps virus vaccine/rubella virus vaccine 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine:

Symptoms of allergic reaction

  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • hives
  • itching, especially of feet or hands
  • reddening of skin, especially around ears
  • swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose
  • unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine:

More common

  • Fever higher than 103 °F (39.4 °C)

Less common

  • Pain or tenderness of eyes


  • Bruising or purple spots on skin
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • double vision
  • headache (severe or continuing)
  • irritability
  • pain, numbness, or tingling of hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • pain, tenderness, or swelling in testicles and scrotum
  • stiff neck
  • vomiting

Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention

Some side effects of measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine 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

  • Burning or stinging at place of injection
  • fever between 100 and 103 °F (37.7 and 39.4 °C)
  • skin rash
  • swelling of glands in neck

Less common

  • Aches or pain in joints
  • headache (mild)
  • itching, swelling, redness, tenderness, or hard lump at place of injection
  • nausea
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • vague feeling of bodily discomfort

The above side effects (especially aches or pain in joints) are more likely to occur in adults, particularly women.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine: subcutaneous powder for injection


The most common adverse events were injection site reactions and fever.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Redness at the injection site, injection site pain, injection site swelling

Common (1% to 10%): Injection site bruising, burning and/or stinging at injection site

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Injection site rash

Postmarketing reports: Vesicles at injection site, wheal and flare at injection site[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Fever equal to or greater than 38C (rectal) or 37.5C (axillary/oral)

Common (1% to 10%): Fever over 39.5C (rectal) or 39C (axillary/oral)

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Otitis media, injury

Rare (less than 0.1%): Death from various and in some cases unknown causes

Postmarketing reports: Malaise, peripheral edema, papillitis, swelling, tenderness[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dizziness

Rare (less than 0.1%): Febrile convulsions

Postmarketing reports: Encephalitis, cerebellitis, cerebellitis like symptoms (including transient gait disturbance and transient ataxia), Guillain-Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis, peripheral neuritis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, afebrile convulsions or seizures, encephalopathy, measles inclusion body encephalitis, paresthesia, polyneuritis, polyneuropathy, optic neuritis, retrobulbar neuritis, syncope[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Upper respiratory tract infection, pharyngitis, bronchitis, cough, respiratory disorder, rhinitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Nasopharyngitis, rhinorrhea, laryngitis, stridor, epistaxis, sinusitis

Rare (less than 0.1%): Pneumonia, pneumonitis

Postmarketing reports: Bronchial spasm, sore throat[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urticaria, dermatitis, eczema, pruritus, herpes simplex, herpes zoster, skin exfoliation, nail disorder

Frequency not reported: Panniculitis

Postmarketing reports: Erythema multiforme, panniculitis, purpura, skin induration, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, pruritus[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nervousness

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal crying, insomnia

Postmarketing reports: Irritability[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Parotid gland enlargement, vomiting, gastrointestinal disorder, toothache, enteritis, gastroenteritis, stomatitis, stomatitis aphthous, abdominal pain

Rare (less than 0.1%): Nausea

Frequency not reported: Pancreatitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Lymphadenopathy, anemia

Rare (less than 0.1%): Thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura

Frequency not reported: Leukocytosis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Viral infection

Frequency not reported: Atypical measles

Postmarketing reports: Meningitis, measles-like syndrome, mumps-like syndrome (including orchitis, epididymitis, and parotitis)[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctivitis

Postmarketing reports: Ocular palsies, retinitis[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia

Frequency not reported: Diabetes mellitus[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Allergic reactions

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylactic reactions (including related phenomenon such as angioneurotic edema, facial edema, and peripheral edema), anaphylactoid reaction[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Vasculitis[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Epididymitis, orchitis[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Arthralgia, arthritis, myalgia[Ref]

The vaccine has rarely been associated with chronic joint symptoms. The incidence of arthritis and arthralgia is generally higher in adult women than in children (women, 12% to 26%; children, 0% to 3%), and symptoms tend to be more marked and of longer duration, persisting for months or years (rare). In adolescent girls, the incidence of reactions appears to be intermediate between those seen in children and in women. These reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities, even in women over 35 years old.[Ref]

More about M-M-R II (measles virus vaccine / mumps virus vaccine / rubella virus vaccine)

Patient resources

Related treatment guides


1. "Product Information. M-M-R II (measles/mumps/rubella virus vaccine)." Merck & Company Inc (2002):

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

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.