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Adacel (Tdap)

Generic Name: Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) [TET-a-nus, dif-THEER-ee-a, and-ay-SEL-yoo-ler-per-TUS-iss] Brand names: Adacel (Tdap), Boostrix (Tdap).
Class of Drugs: Vaccine combinations


Availability Prescription onlyRx

Lactation risk and pregnancy data are available.

Not part of the CSA schedule. Not a controlled substance N/A.

What is the Tetanus and Diphtheria Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap)?

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are serious infections that are caused by bacteria.

Tetanus (lockjaw) is an uncomfortable tightening of muscles that may lead to "locking" of the jaw, which means that the patient is unable to open their mouths and swallow or breathe. Tetanus may cause death.

Diphtheria may cause breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, or even death.

Pertussis (whooping cough) can cause long-lasting, severe episodes of coughing that can affect drinking, eating, or breathing. Pertussis can cause the development of pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and the death of a person.

Pertussis and diphtheria can be spread from one person to another. Tetanus is transmitted through an injury or cut.

The tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular vaccine against pertussis (also known as Tdap) is utilized to prevent the spread of these diseases among people aged between 10 and 64 years old.

As with all vaccines, the Tdap vaccine might not offer immunity from illness for everyone.

Side Effect of the Vaccine

See a doctor immediately. Get medical attention immediately if you notice symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction, like hives, trouble breathing, and swelling of your lips, face, and throat.

Infection with diphtheria, pertussis, or tetanus can be far more harmful for your health than getting this vaccine. But, as with all medicines, the vaccine may cause adverse effects, but the chance of serious adverse effects is very low.

 Side Effects:

  • Extreme discomfort, itching, swelling, or redness at the site where the shot was administered.
  • High temperature (over 100 degrees F).
  • A feeling of lightheadedness, as if you're passing out.
  • Extremely joint discomfort and severe joint pain.
  • Nervous system issues (numbness, tenderness, pain, weakness, and burning sensations) issues with hearing or vision Trouble breathing.

Adverse Effects:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Discomfort, redness, or swelling in the area where the shot was administered.
  • Migraine or fatigue.
  • Pain in the body.
  • Fever.

This isn't an exhaustive list of possible side effects, and other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor for advice regarding the medical effects of the vaccine. You can report adverse reactions directly to the US Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800-822-7967.


Being infected by tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis is significantly more hazardous for your health than getting this vaccine.

Before You Take This Drug

It is not recommended to get this vaccine if you've experienced:

  • An allergic reaction that is life-threatening, an anti-tetanus vaccine, diphtheria, pertussis, diphtheria.
  • Diminished consciousness, seizures, or coma in the first 7 days following getting a vaccine against pertussis within 7 days of receiving it.

If you suffer from any of these health conditions, your vaccination may have to be delayed or even not administered in any way.

  • Seizures.
  • The immune system is weak (caused by illness or the use of certain medications).
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome occurs within six weeks of having received a tetanus vaccination.

You may still get the vaccine even if you suffer from an unintentional illness, such as a cold. If you are suffering from an illness that is more severe, such as a fever or other type of disease, be patient until you are better before you can receive the vaccine.

When you're breastfeeding or pregnant, your doctor or healthcare provider should determine if you are required to get the Tdap vaccine.

If you're expecting and are a registered mother, your name could be included on the registry for pregnant women to monitor the effects of this vaccination on your baby. The vaccine that this version comes from (Adacel, Boostrix) is not recommended to be administered to anyone who is younger than 10 years old. A different vaccine is offered for children who are younger than 10 years old.

How To Take Adacel?

This vaccine is given by injection (shot) into the muscle.

The Tdap vaccine is typically delivered as a single injection. Unless your physician's advice is different, it is not necessary to get any booster shots.

What Happens If I Miss a Dose?

Since the Tdap vaccination is generally only administered once, you're not likely to skip the dosage.

What Happens If I Overdose?

A dose of the vaccine that is too high is highly unlikely.

What Should Be Avoided?

Follow the instructions of your vaccine provider about any food restrictions or beverages.

Interaction With Other Drugs

Before you receive this vaccine, inform your doctor about any other vaccines you've recently received.

Additionally, inform the doctor who administered the vaccination if you've recently taken medication or received treatments that could weaken your immune system, such as:

  • Steroid medicine.
  • Treatments for cancer treatments;
  • Medications to treat the symptoms of psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions that are autoimmune.
  • Medications for treating or preventing organ donation rejection.

If you're taking any of these medicines that are listed above, you might not be able to get the vaccine or require waiting until other treatments have finished.

This list isn't complete. Other medications could influence this vaccine, such as prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. There are many possible interactions between drugs that are listed here.

Details on Dosage

Your doctor, pharmacist, or physician can give you more information on the vaccine. Further information is available through the health departments in your area or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Be sure to keep this medication and other medications out of the reach of children. Do not give your medication to anyone else, and take this medicine only in the manner prescribed by your doctor.

Consult your doctor to confirm that the information provided on this page is applicable to your particular situation.