chickenpox vaccine (generic name)

It is used to prevent infections of chickpox.
(var uh SEL uh VAHY ruhs vak SEEN)
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What is this medicine?

VARICELLA VIRUS VACCINE (var uh SEL uh VAHY ruhs vak SEEN) is used to prevent infections of chickpox.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of the following conditions:
  • blood disorders or disease
  • cancer like leukemia or lymphoma
  • immune system problems or therapy
  • infection with fever
  • recent immune globulin therapy
  • tuberculosis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to vaccines, neomycin, gelatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

This vaccine is for injection under the skin. It is given by a health care professional.

A copy of Vaccine Information Statements will be given before each vaccination. Read this sheet carefully each time. The sheet may change frequently.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 12 months of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

Keep appointments for follow-up (booster) doses as directed. It is important not to miss your dose. Call your doctor or health care professional if you are unable to keep an appointment.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • adalimumab
  • anakinra
  • etanercept
  • infliximab
  • medicines that suppress your immune system

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • blood transfusions
  • immunoglobulins
  • medicines to treat cancer
  • steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor for regular check ups.

This vaccine, like all vaccines, may not fully protect everyone.

After receiving this vaccine it may be possible to pass chickenpox infection to others. For up to 6 weeks, avoid people with immune system problems, pregnant women who have not had chickenpox, and newborns of women who have not had chickenpox. Talk to your doctor for more information.

Do not become pregnant for 3 months after taking this vaccine. Women should inform their doctor if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is a potential for serious side effects to an unborn child. Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist for more information.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • extreme changes in behavior
  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls
  • fever over 102 degrees F
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • seizures
  • unusually weak or tired

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • aches or pains
  • chickenpox-like rash
  • diarrhea
  • low-grade fever under 102 degrees F
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • redness, pain, swelling at site where injected
  • sleepy
  • trouble sleeping

Where should I keep my medicine?

This drug is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: September 14, 2009
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