Cervarix (generic: human papillomavirus bivalent (types 16 and 18) vaccine, recombinant) is a vaccine used to help protect against cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 in girls and young women. It works by stimulating the immune system to fight off the HPV virus by producing antibodies.
The most common side effects of Cervarix are:
- pain, redness, and swelling where you got the shot
- feeling tired
- muscle aches
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain
- joint aches
Other possible side effects include:
- swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin).
Call your healthcare provider or seek medical treatment immediately if you develop hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, because these may be signs of a severe allergic reaction.
Tell your healthcare provider about these or any other side effects that concern you.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription medicines, nonprescription medicines, and herbal products) before starting treatment with Cervarix.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (such as Coumadin or warfarin), cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids (such as prednisone, dexamethasone), drugs that weaken the immune system (such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus).
- You should continue to get routine cervical cancer screening (such as a Pap smear).
- Cervarix may not fully protect everyone who gets the vaccine.
- Not all cervical cancers are caused by the HPV types Cervarix protects against. Cervarix will not protect against diseases from all HPV types.
- Cervarix will not protect against HPV types that you already have.
You should not get Cervarix if you have or have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of Cervarix or if you had an allergy to any of the ingredients in Cervarix.
Cervarix is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Cervarix there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Cervarix.
Tell your doctor about all your health conditions, including if you:
Cervarix is not recommended for use in pregnant women. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant during the time period of the 3 shots.
Pregnancy Registry: If you are vaccinated during pregnancy, there is a registry. The purpose of the registry is to collect safety information about the health of you and your baby. Contact the registry as soon as you become aware of the pregnancy or ask your healthcare provider to contact the registry for you. You or your healthcare provider can get information and enroll in the registry by calling 1-888-452-9622.
Your healthcare provider will decide if you should get CERVARIX.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or if you are planning to breastfeed. It is not known if Cervarix (or vaccine induced-antibodies) is excreted in human breast milk.
Cervarix is given as an injection (shot) in a muscle in your arm. You will need a total of 3 shots.
Fainting may occur, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, especially in young females. Your healthcare provider may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after you get Cervarix. Some people who faint may shake or become stiff. If this happens, it may require evaluation or treatment by your healthcare provider.
Cervarix is usually administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting making it unlikely for an overdose to occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
Cervarix is a suspension for intramuscular injection available in 0.5-mL single-dose vials and prefilled TIP-LOK® syringes.
Cervarix contains proteins of HPV types 16 and 18. The vaccine also contains 3-O-desacyl-4’-monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), aluminum hydroxide, sodium chloride, and sodium dihydrogen phosphate dehydrate.
Cervarix contains no preservatives.
Make sure you get all 3 Cervarix doses on time for the best protection. If you miss a scheduled dose, talk to your healthcare provider.