RabAvert

RabAvert is a vaccine given to prevent rabies. It is given for pre-exposure and post-exposure protection.

RabAvert Overview

Reviewed: August 10, 2015
Updated: 

RabAvert 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 RabAvert include nausea, headache, and soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

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Uses of RabAvert

RabAvert is a vaccine used to prevent rabies. The vaccine may be given to protect someone with a high risk of rabies or it may be given to someone after they have been exposed.

Manufacturer

RabAvert Drug Class

RabAvert is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of RabAvert

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

Common side effects of RabAvert include the following:

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

This is not a complete list of RabAvert 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.

RabAvert 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 RabAvert drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

RabAvert Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with RabAvert 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 RabAvert if you:

  • are allergic to RabAvert of to any of its ingredients

RabAvert 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 RabAvert, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this vaccine.

Inform MD

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

  • are allergic to RabAvert or to any of its ingredients
  • 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 (nonexposure) 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.

RabAvert 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.

RabAvert falls into category C. No studies have been done in animals, and no well-controlled studies have been done in pregnant women. RabAvert should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

RabAvert and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known whether RabAvert is excreted in animal or human milk, but many drugs are excreted in human milk. Although there are no data, because of the potential consequences of inadequately treated rabies exposure, nursing is not considered a contraindication to postexposure vaccination. If the risk of exposure to rabies is substantial, pre-exposure vaccination might also be indicated during nursing.

RabAvert Usage

Use RabAvert exactly as prescribed.

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

RabAvert 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).  In adults, the vaccine should be administered into the deltoid muscle. In small children and infants, the vaccine should be administered into the thigh. The gluteal area should be avoided. 

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 IM doses (1ml each) of RabAvert: one immediately and one 3 days later. HRIG should not be given in these cases.

RabAvert Overdose

RabAvert 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.