Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis booster vaccine (also known as Tdap) is a combination immunizing agent given by injection to protect against infections caused by diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is given to children 10 years of age and older, and to adults who have already been given this vaccine in the past. The vaccine will “boost” or increase the protection that the child or adult had from an earlier dose.

Diphtheria is a serious illness that can cause breathing difficulties, heart problems, nerve damage, pneumonia, and possibly death. The risk of serious complications and death is greater in very young children and in the elderly.

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  • diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis booster vaccine
  • Less common:
    Crying for 3 or more hours
    convulsions (seizures)
    difficulty with breathing or swallowing
    fever of 102.2 degrees F or more
    headache (severe or continuing)
    itching, especially of the feet or hands
    low blood pressure
    reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
    sleepiness (unusual and continuing)
    swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose
    unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)
    vomiting (severe or continuing)
    Incidence not known:
    Blood in the urine
    bloody or black, tarry stools
    blurred vision
    chest pain or discomfort
    dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
    dry mouth
    fast heartbeat
    flushed, dry skin
    fruit-like breath odor
    inability to move the arms and legs
    increased hunger
    increased thirst
    increased urination
    large, flat, blue, or purplish patches on the skin
    large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
    loss of consciousness
    muscle pain or spasm
    painful knees and ankles
    puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
    redness and swelling on the skin, buttocks, legs, or ankles
    shortness of breath
    skin rash
    stiff neck
    stomach pain
    sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
    tightness in the chest
    trouble breathing
    unexplained weight loss
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with diphtheria toxoid / pertussis, acellular / tetanus toxoid may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    More common:
    Body aches
    fever of 99.5 degrees F or more
    redness, swelling, tenderness, pain, or a lump at the place of injection
    Incidence not known:
    Back pain
    burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
    injection site bruising
    muscle or joint pain
    swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
    weakness of the muscles in the face
    welts on the skin
  • (intramuscular suspension)