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Anthrax vaccine (Injection)

Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AN-thrax VAX-een ad-SORBD)

Protects against infections caused by anthrax.

Brand Name(s):

BioThrax, Biothrax

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to anthrax vaccine, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot under your skin or into a muscle.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had any recent vaccinations. You will need to have this injection in a different area of your body.
  • Muscle injection: You will receive a total of 3 primary shots into your muscle at 0, 1, and 6 months.
  • Skin injection: You will receive a total of 4 primary shots under your skin if you have bleeding or bruising problems. The first four shots will be given at 0, 2, and 4 weeks, and 6 months.
  • Booster shots: You will receive at least 2 booster shots at 12 and 18 months for both skin and muscle injections. You may need an additional yearly booster shot thereafter if you are still at risk of infection.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicine or receiving treatments that weaken the immune system, such as a steroid medicine (dexamethasone, Medrol®), radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Tell your doctor if you are also using a blood thinner, such as warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have a weak immune system or a history of anthrax infection. Also, tell your doctor if you have blood clotting problems.
  • This vaccine may not protect everyone from all anthrax infections.
  • This vaccine is not a treatment for an anthrax infection. You will need additional medicine to treat the infection.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber or latex. The stopper of the vial contains dry natural rubber, which may cause an allergic reaction.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given, or limited arm movement
  • Tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014
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