Common Brand Name(s): Pentacel
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is a combination of vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough), polio, and Haemophilus influenzae B infection. Vaccination is the best way to protect against these life-threatening infections. Vaccines work by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies).
This combination of vaccines is usually used in infants and children who are between 6 weeks and 4 years old.
How To Use
Read all vaccine information available from your health care professional before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.
This vaccine is injected into a muscle by a health care professional. It is usually given in the thigh or upper arm.
Vaccines are usually given in a series of doses to provide the best protection. Closely follow the vaccination schedule provided by the health care professional. Keep all scheduled medical appointments. It may be helpful to mark a calendar as a reminder. There are various combinations of vaccines available. Based on your child's age, vaccination history, and previous reaction to vaccines, the health care professional will decide which vaccines are best for your child. Discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the health care professional.
This combination of vaccines may be given at the same time as other childhood vaccines (such as hepatitis, measles/mumps/rubella) using a separate needle and injection site.
Pain/swelling/redness at the injection site may occur. Mild fever, irritability/crying, sleepiness, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell the health care professional promptly. Consult the health care professional about the temporary use of acetaminophen to treat pain and fever due to this vaccine.
Rarely, some people have symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, vision changes, or ringing in the ears just after getting a vaccine injection. Tell the health care professional right away if your child has any of these symptoms. Sitting or lying down may help, since these symptoms usually don't last long.
Remember that the health care professional has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to your child is greater than the risk of side effects. Many children using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Get medical help right away if your child has any very serious side effects, including:
- persistent crying (beginning within 48 hours of the injection and lasting longer than 3 hours)
- high fever (105 degrees F/40 degrees C or higher)
- little or no response to sound/touch
- weak/floppy muscles
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact the health care professional.
Contact the health care professional for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.
Before your child receives this vaccination, tell the health care professional if your child is allergic to it; or to any other vaccine; or if your child has any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your health care professional for more details.
Before receiving this vaccination, tell the health care professional your child's medical history, especially of:
- current fever/illness
- immune system disorders (such as due to HIV infection, certain cancers such as leukemia/lymphoma, cancer or radiation treatment)
- brain/nervous system disorders (such as seizures)
- history of Guillain-Barre syndrome
This vaccine is not usually used in adults. Therefore, it is unlikely to be used during pregnancy or by a mother while breast-feeding. Consult the health care professional if you have any questions about using this vaccine.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products your child uses (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with the health care professional. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without the doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this vaccine include:
- drugs that weaken the immune system (including cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone)
This vaccination may interfere with certain laboratory tests (such as antigen tests). Make sure laboratory personnel and the health care professional know your child has been recently vaccinated.
Even if your child has already had diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, or Haemophilus influenzae B infection, he or she may not be protected from getting them again. Your child should still receive this vaccine if the health care professional orders it.
It is important that your child receives each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to make a note of when your child received their last vaccination for their medical record.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2020.
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Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.