rotavirus vaccine, live (oral)



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Rotarix, RotaTeq

What is the most important information I should know about rotavirus oral vaccine?

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When your child receives another vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first dose caused any side effects.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

Before your child receives this vaccine, tell the doctor if your child has recently had a fever. Also tell the doctor if anyone living with or caring for the child has cancer or a weak immune system, or is receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

Always wash your hands after handling the diapers of a child who has been given the rotavirus oral vaccine. Small amounts of the virus may be passed in the child's stool and could possibly infect others who come into contact with the child's stool.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine. Your child may not be protected from rotavirus if the doses aren't given within 4 to 10 weeks of each other, or if the child does not receive the full series of vaccines.

Avoid receiving the doses of this vaccine in different clinics or from different doctors. Your child should receive the same brand of rotavirus oral vaccine for all doses given. Different brands of this vaccine may not have the same dosing or booster schedule.

Call your doctor as soon as possible if your child (after receiving a rotavirus oral vaccine) has stomach pain or bloating, vomiting (especially if it is golden-brown to green in color), bloody stools, grunting or excessive crying, and eventually weakness and shallow breathing.

Becoming infected with rotavirus is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

What is rotavirus oral vaccine?

Rotavirus oral vaccine contains up to five strains of rotavirus. It is made from both human and animal sources.

Infection with rotavirus can affect the digestive system of babies and young children, causing severe stomach or intestinal illness.

The rotavirus oral vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in children.

This vaccine works by exposing your child to a small dose of the virus, 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.

Rotavirus oral vaccine is for use in children between the ages of 6 weeks and 32 weeks old.

Like any vaccine, the rotavirus oral vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving rotavirus oral vaccine?

Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she has ever had a serious allergic reaction to a rotavirus oral vaccine in the past, or if the child was born with a stomach or intestinal problem that has not been corrected.

Before your child receives this vaccine, tell the doctor if your child has recently had a fever, or if the child has:

  • HIV or AIDS
  • a current stomach illness or diarrhea
  • a congenital stomach disorder or recent stomach surgery
  • leukemia or other blood disease
  • if the child is allergic to latex rubber; or
  • if the child has recently received a blood transfusion.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

Tell the doctor if anyone living with or caring for the child has cancer or a weak immune system, or is receiving treatments that can weaken the immune system (such as radiation, chemotherapy, or steroids).

Rotavirus oral vaccine may cause an intestinal problem called intussusception (in-tuh-suh-SEP-shun) in some people. Intussusception is when a section of the intestine folds over into itself, creating an obstruction in the bowel. Call your doctor as soon as possible if your child has stomach pain or bloating, vomiting (especially if it is golden-brown to green in color), bloody stools, grunting or excessive crying, and eventually weakness and shallow breathing.

How is rotavirus oral vaccine given?

Your child will receive this vaccine in a clinic, hospital, or doctor's office. The rotavirus oral vaccine is given as an oral (by mouth) liquid.

The RotaTeq brand of rotavirus oral vaccine is given in a series of 3 doses. The first dose is usually given when the child is 6 to 12 weeks old. The booster doses are then given at 4-week to 10-week intervals before the child reaches 32 weeks of age.

The Rotarix brand of rotavirus oral vaccine is given in a series of 2 doses. The first dose is usually given when the child is 6 weeks old. The second dose is then given at least 4 weeks after the first dose, but before the child reaches 24 weeks of age.

Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

Tell your doctor if your child spits up or vomits within 1 or 2 hours after receiving rotavirus oral vaccine. The child may need to receive a replacement dose to be fully protected from rotavirus.

Always wash your hands after handling the diapers of a child who has been given the rotavirus oral vaccine. Small amounts of the virus may be passed in the child's stool and could possibly infect others who come into contact with the child's stool.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if your child misses a dose of this vaccine. Your child may not be protected from rotavirus if the doses aren't given within 10 weeks of each other. Try to keep all appointments.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think your child has received too much of this medicine. An overdose is unlikely because the medicine is packaged as a pre-measured dose.

What should I avoid while taking rotavirus oral vaccine?

Avoid receiving the doses of this vaccine in different clinics or from different doctors. Your child should receive the same brand of rotavirus oral vaccine for all doses given. Different brands of this vaccine may not have the same dosing or booster schedule.

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity after your child receives rotavirus oral vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of rotavirus oral vaccine?

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When your child receives another vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first dose caused any side effects. Getting rotavirus disease is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects. The risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if your child has any of these serious side effects:

  • seizure (black-out or convulsions)
  • high fever, redness of the skin or eyes, swollen hands, peeling skin rash, chapped or cracked lips
  • cough, wheezing or shortness of breath, chest or stomach pain, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea
  • runny or stuffy nose, mild cough, other cold symptoms; or
  • painful or difficult urination.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as crying or mild irritability.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect rotavirus oral vaccine?

Before your child receives rotavirus oral vaccine, tell the doctor if the child has recently been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, steroids, or other treatments that can weaken the immune system.

There may be other drugs that can affect rotavirus oral vaccine. Tell your child's doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications your child uses. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your child's doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist may have information about this vaccine written for health professionals that you may read. You may also find additional information from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.