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MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) Safety & Side Effects

What is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is
given as a single injection to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles,
mumps, and rubella are serious diseases.

Measles infection is caused by the measles virus. It causes rash, cough,
runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can progress into a serious illness
which may cause ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even
death.

Mumps is caused by the mumps virus. It causes fever, headache, muscle pain,
loss of appetite, and swollen glands. It can also progress into a serious
illness which may cause deafness, infection of the brain and spinal cord
(meningitis), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and in rare cases
sterility (inability of men to father children).

Rubella is caused by the rubella virus. It causes rash, arthritis, and mild
fever. Rubella is especially dangerous during pregnancy as it can cause a
miscarriage or serious birth defects in the newborn baby.

These diseases can easily spread from person to person through the air.
Before the development of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, these
diseases were very common. Fortunately, we now have the measles, mumps, and
rubella vaccine that can protect from all three of these diseases.

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine contains live attenuated (weakened)
forms of the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. The vaccine works by
stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies (proteins which will fight
and kill the viruses against the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses).

What brand names are available for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

M-M-R II

Is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine available as a generic drug?

No

Do I need a prescription for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

No

What are the side effects of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

Mild side effects of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine include:

  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Swelling of the glands in the cheeks or neck
  • Other potential side effects that have been reported after taking the
    measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine include:
  • Seizures caused by fever
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Temporary low platelet count that may cause
    bleeding problems
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Deafness
  • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered
    consciousness
  • Permanent brain damage

What is the dosage for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

Children should get 2 injections of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine
under the skin (subcutaneously):

  • First injection (0.5 ml) at 12-15 months of
    age
  • Second injection (0.5 ml) at 4-6 years age

Some adults also may need the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. It is
generally recommended that adults who were born in 1957 or later should get at
least one injection of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. However, the
vaccine is not needed in people who have laboratory evidence of immunity
(antibodies) to the three viruses.

Which drugs or supplements interact with measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening
allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin should not get the measles, mumps,
and rubella vaccine.

Patients who are sick should get the vaccine
at a later time after they have recovered.

Patients with a weak immune system may not
fully benefit from the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

Some medications may decrease the
effectiveness of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Examples include
fingolimod (Gilenya), belimumab (Benlysta), anakinra (Kineret), adalimumab (Humira),
infliximab (Remicade), antineoplastic agents (anti-cancer medications), and
other medicines that decrease the immune response.

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine may
interact with the tuberculin (TB) test. The TB skin test should not be performed
in patients who have received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine within the
previous 4-6 weeks.

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Is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant women should not get the measles, mumps, and rubella
vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving
birth to get the vaccine. Additionally, females who have received the vaccine
should avoid getting pregnant for 4 weeks (28 days) after vaccination.

It is not known if the measles or mumps vaccine can enter
human milk. The rubella vaccine however may be excreted into human milk but
usually does not cause side effects in the
nursing baby.

What else should I know about measles, mumps, rubella vaccine?

What preparations of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine are available?

Vaccine powder for injection: Single dose vials

How should I keep measles, mumps, rubella vaccine stored?

Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine should be stored in the
refrigerator, between 2 C to 8 C (36 F and 46 F).

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