Imovax

Imovax is a vaccine given to prevent rabies. Is it given for pre-exposure and post-exposure protection.

Imovax Overview

Reviewed: August 10, 2015
Updated: 

Imovax is a vaccine used to prevent rabies. It is used for people who have potential to be exposed to the virus, as well as for people who have been exposed to the virus.

It is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional.

Common side effects of Imovax include nausea, headache, and soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

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Uses of Imovax

Imovax is a vaccine used to prevent rabies. It is used for people who have potential to be exposed to the virus, as well as for people who have been exposed to the virus. It is approved for use in people of all ages.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Manufacturer

Imovax Drug Class

Imovax is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Imovax

Serious side effects have been reported with Imovax. See the "Imovax Precautions" section.

Common side effects of Imovax include the following:

  • soreness, redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site
  • headache
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • muscle aches
  • dizziness
  • hives
  • pain in the joints
  • fever

This is not a complete list of Imovax side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to VAERS at 1-800-822-7967.

 

Imovax Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • other vaccines
  • medications that suppress the immune system
    • radiation therapy
    • antimalarial drugs
    • corticosteroids

This is not a complete list of Imovax drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Imovax Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Imovax including the following:

  • severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • bronchospasm
  • urticaria (rash)
  • edema
  • neuroparalysis
  • encephalitis
  • meningitis
  • transient paralysis
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • multiple sclerosis
  • vertigo
  • visual disturbance
  • palpitations
  • flushing

Do not receive Imovax if you:

  • are allergic to Imovax or to any of its ingredients

Imovax Food Interactions

Medications and vaccines 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 Imovax, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this vaccine.

Inform MD

Before receiving Imovax, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Imovax or to any of its ingredients
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed
  • have a weakened immune system because of:
    • HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
    • treatment with drugs that affect the immune system such as steroids
    • cancer, or cancer treatment with radiation or drugs

If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you can be vaccinated. If you are moderately or severely ill, you should probably wait until you recover before getting a routine (non-exposure) dose of rabies vaccine. If you have been exposed to the rabies virus, you should get the vaccine regardless of any other illnesses you may have.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Imovax and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications and vaccines based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication or vaccine is used during pregnancy.

Imovax falls into category C. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. Imovax should be given to a pregnant woman only if potential benefits outweigh potential risks.

If there is substantial risk of exposure to rabies, pre-exposure prophylaxis may also be indicated during pregnancy. Because of the potential consequences of inadequately treated rabies exposure, pregnancy is not considered a contraindication to post-exposure prophylaxis.

 

Imovax Usage

Use Imovax exactly as prescribed.

This vaccine is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional.

In adults and children, Imovax is given into the deltoid muscle (upper arm). In infants and small children, Imovax is given in the thigh.  

 

Imovax Dosage

Use this vaccine exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

The dose your doctor recommends will be based on your potential for exposure to the rabies virus, or the likelihood that you have been exposed to the virus, and your rabies vaccine history.

A single dose for adults, children, and infants is 1ml given intramuscularly (IM). 

Pre-exposure Dosage

  • Primary immunization: 3 injections of 1ml each are recommended; one on day 0, one on day 7, and one on either day 21 or 28
  • Booster immunization: individual booster dose is 1ml, given to people who have received previous rabies immunization and remain at increased risk of rabies exposure

Post-exposure Dosage

  • Immunization should begin as soon as possible after exposure. 
  • A complete course consists of a total of 5 injections of 1ml each: one injection on each of days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 in conjunction with HRIG (Human Rabies Immunoglobulin) on day 0.

Post-exposure Prophylaxis of Previously Immunized Persons

  • When rabies exposure occurs in a previously vaccinated person, that person should receive two doses (1ml each) of Imovax: one immediately and one 3 days later. Human Rabies Immunoglobulin should not be given in these cases.

Imovax Overdose

Imovax is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, so it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.