Gardasil

Generic Name: Human Papillomavirus Recombinant Vaccine, Quadrivalent

  • What is Gardasil?

    Gardasil is a vaccine used in girls and women 9-26 years old to help prevent cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar (external genitals) cancer, and genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).

    Gardasil is also used in boys and men 9-26 years old to help prevent genital warts.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Gardasil?

    Gardasil is intended as a preventive measure; it should not be used for treating active genital warts, HPV infection, or vaginal or cervical cancers. This vaccine will not protect against diseases that are not caused by HPV, and it does not protect against HPV infections that are already present.

    Gardasil does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue seeing your doctor for routine cervical cancer screening.

    Fainting is a possible side effect after receiving Gardasil. Your doctor may advise you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes to monitor your reaction to the vaccine.

    If you have immune system problems, you might have a weak response to this vaccination and therefore not receive full protection.

    Gardasil can cause allergic reactions or other side effects that may require medical attention. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following: wheezing; breathing problems; rash; hives; swollen neck, armpit, or groin; joint pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; confusion; seizures; chills or flu-like symptoms; leg or chest pain; muscle aches; severe stomach pain; or unusual bleeding or bruising. Tell your doctor even if you develop these symptoms several months after the vaccination.

  • Who should not take Gardasil?

    Do not take Gardasil if you are allergic to any of its ingredients (including an allergy to yeast). Gardasil has not been studied in children younger than 9 years and adults older than 26 years.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Gardasil?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Gardasil. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have HIV infection (AIDS), any type of cancer, or high fever (>100 degrees). Especially tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults and children 9-26 years old: Gardasil is an injection given in the upper arm muscle as three separate doses according to the following schedule: the first dose at the elected date you and your doctor choose, the second dose at 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose at 6 months after the first dose.

  • How should I take Gardasil?

    This vaccine will be given by your doctor.

  • What should I avoid while taking Gardasil?

    After receiving the injection, do not drive or engage in activities that require alertness and coordination until you know how the vaccine affects you.

    Avoid missing any of the scheduled doses.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Gardasil?

    If Gardasil is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Gardasil with medications that suppress the immune system.

  • What are the possible side effects of Gardasil?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: injection-site reactions (such as pain, swelling, itching, bruising, or redness), fever, nausea, dizziness, headache, vomiting, fainting

  • Can I receive Gardasil if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Gardasil during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Gardasil?

    Contact your doctor if you miss a Gardasil dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible.

  • How should I store Gardasil?

    Gardasil will be stored by your doctor.

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I'm Shereen A. Gharbia, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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