Kids Home > Adacel Warnings and Precautions

It's important to understand the warnings and precautions for Adacel before getting the vaccine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have epilepsy, seizures, a stroke, or any other nervous system disorders, as Adacel may need to be postponed (or may not be recommended at all). Also, make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have had any serious reactions to any vaccines in the past.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Getting Adacel?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to receiving Adacel® (Tdap vaccine) if you have:
  • An immune-suppressing condition such as HIV or AIDS, diabetes, or cancer
  • Had any sort of a reaction to any vaccine in the past
  • Epilepsy or any other nervous system disorder
  • An illness or infection (such as the flu)
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Had a recent stroke
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Adacel Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving Adacel include the following:
  • There is some evidence that tetanus toxoid (one of the components of Adacel) might be linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome (a serious nervous system problem).
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have ever had any serious reactions to any vaccines in the past. It is probably a good idea to ask your parents or other caregivers if you had any problems with your childhood vaccinations.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have (or have had) epilepsy, seizures, a stroke, or any other nervous system disorders. In some cases, Adacel may need to be postponed; in other cases, Adacel may not be recommended at all.
  • If you are moderately to severely ill, it is probably a good idea to postpone vaccination with Adacel until you are feeling better.
  • If you have had severe swelling or pain with any previous vaccine that contained tetanus toxoid, you should not receive Adacel unless at least 10 years have passed since your last vaccination with tetanus toxoid.


  • Adacel in prefilled syringes may contain latex. Adacel in vials does not contain latex. If you have a latex allergy, make sure your healthcare provider uses Adacel from the vial, not the prefilled syringe. 


  • If you have an immune-suppressing condition, Adacel may not be as effective as usual for producing immunity to diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis.


  • Adacel does not contain thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative). Individuals who are concerned about exposure to thimerosal can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal (not even trace amounts). Some people are concerned about aluminum content of vaccines; Adacel contains 0.33 mg of aluminum per dose.
  • This vaccine is not made from human fetal components or animal components, as some vaccines are.


  • Adacel can potentially interact with a few other medications or vaccines (see Adacel Drug Interactions).
  • Adacel is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it is unknown if it is safe for use during pregnancy (see Adacel and Pregnancy).
  • At this time, it is unknown if Adacel passes through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine (see Adacel and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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