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Diphtheria/acellular pertussis/tetanus booster vaccine (Tdap) (By injection)

Pertussis Vaccine, Acellular (per-TUS-iss VAX-een, a-SELL-yoo-lar), Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid (ree-DOOST dif-THEER-ee-a TOX-oyd), Tetanus Toxoid (TET-a-nus TOX-oyd)

Protects against infections caused by tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, or pertussis (whooping cough). This is a booster vaccine.

Brand Name(s):

Adacel, Boostrix

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This vaccine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to the separate or combined tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis vaccine. You should not receive this vaccine if you have had seizures or changes in consciousness within 7 days after you received a pertussis vaccine.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You will receive the first dose of Adacel® 5 years or more after the last dose of a DTaP series or tetanus toxoid vaccine. The second dose may be given 8 years or more after the first dose of Tdap vaccine.
  • To prevent tetanus, a booster dose of Adacel® may be given if it has been at least 5 years after you have received a tetanus toxoid vaccine.
  • You may receive other vaccines at the same time as this one, but in a different body area. You should receive patient instructions for all of the vaccines. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have questions.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: It is important that you or your child receive all of the shots. Try to keep all scheduled appointments. Make another appointment as soon as possible if you or your child misses a dose of this vaccine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines can affect how Tdap vaccine works. Tell your doctor if you are receiving a treatment or medicine that weakens your immune system (including cancer medicine, radiation treatment, or steroid medicines).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have epilepsy, a weak immune system, unstable brain or nerve disorders, or a history of a stroke. Tell your doctor if you are sick or have a fever, or if you have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome after you received a tetanus toxoid vaccine.
  • This vaccine may increase your risk for severe nerve and muscle problems (including Guillain-Barré syndrome, brachial neuritis).
  • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex. The tip caps of the prefilled syringes may contain dry natural latex rubber.
  • This vaccine will not treat an active infection. If you have a diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis infection, you will need medicine to treat the infection.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.

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
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever over 105 degrees F
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Seizures
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
  • Severe pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given

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

  • Headache
  • Mild pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
  • 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: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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