Overview/Drug’s Description

Adacel, also called Tdap, is used to help prevent Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis. These are serious diseases caused by bacteria in people who are at least 10 years old.

Tetanus (lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the victim cannot open the mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases. It enters the body through a cut or wound.

Diphtheria causes a thick coating in the nose, throat, and airways. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or death.

Pertussis (whooping cough) causes coughing so severe that it interferes with eating, drinking, or breathing. These spells can last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures (convulsions), brain damage, and death.Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person.

Adacel vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

This medication is used to help prevent Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis in people who are at least 10 years old. Most people in this age group require only one Tdap shot for protection against these diseases. Adacel is especially important for healthcare workers or people who have close contact with a baby younger than 12 months old.

Do not use Adacel if:

  • You are allergic to any ingredient in Adacel.
  • You have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, severe rash, hives, difficulty breathing, or dizziness) or an unusual reaction (eg, brain disorder) to any previous dose of this or a similar vaccine.
  • You have had a brain disorder from an unknown cause within 7 days of a previous Pertussis-containing vaccine.


Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Common side effects of this vaccine may include:

  • Mild Pain or Tenderness Where The Shot Was Given
  • Headache or Tiredness
  • Body Aches
  • Mild Nausea, Diarrhea, or Vomiting.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these side effects within 7 days after receiving Adacel:

  • Numbness, Weakness, or Tingling in Your Feet and Legs
  • Problems with Walking or Coordination
  • Sudden Pain in your Arms or Shoulders
  • A Light-Headed Feeling, Like You Might Pass Out
  • Vision Problems, Ringing in Your Ears
  • Seizure (Black-Out or Convulsions)
  • Redness, Swelling, Bleeding, or Severe Pain where the Shot was Given


Before taking this medicine, you should not receive Adacel if:

  • You had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine that contains tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis; or
  • You had a neurologic disorder affecting your brain (such as loss of consciousness or a prolonged seizure) within 7 days after having a previous pertussis vaccine.

You may not be able to receive Adacel if you have ever received a similar vaccine that caused any of the following:

  • A Very High Fever (Over 104 Degrees Fahrenheit)
  • A Neurologic Disorder or Disease Affecting the Brain
  • Fainting or Going Into Shock
  • Severe Pain, Redness, Tenderness, Swelling, or a Lump where the Shot was Given
  • An Allergy to Latex Rubber
  • Severe or Uncontrolled Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Within 6 Weeks After Receiving a Vaccine Containing Tetanus)

Your vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all if you have any of these other conditions:

  • A History of Seizures
  • A Weak Immune System Caused by Disease, Bone Marrow Transplant, or by Using Certain Medicines or Receiving Cancer Treatments
  • If it Has Been Less Than 10 Years Since You Last Received a Tetanus Shot
  • 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.



Tell your doctor about all other vaccines you have recently received before taking Adacel.

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
  • Medications to Treat Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Other Autoimmune Disorders
  • Medicines to Treat or Prevent Organ Transplant Rejection
  • 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

Other drugs may interact with Adacel, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor all that you have been taking or planning to take.

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur. However, if someone has experience trouble in breathing or passing out after taking this medication, call emergency hotline.


Available brand:

  • Adacel

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