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Several different infections in infants and young children, including diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, can be prevented with the Infanrix vaccine. It is not recommended for use in adults or children age seven or older. Although certain vaccines are sometimes used for off-label purposes, there are currently no universally accepted off-label Infanrix uses.

What Is Infanrix Used For?

Infanrix® (DTaP) is a routine childhood vaccine. It provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough), serious conditions caused by bacteria.
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract infection that causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
Tetanus causes painful and dangerous tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw, preventing opening of the mouth or swallowing (which is why tetanus is also called "lockjaw"). The disease leads to death in about 1 out of 10 cases. Unlike diphtheria and pertussis, which are spread from person to person, tetanus is usually acquired through cuts or wounds.
Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is characterized by severe coughing spells that may end in a "whooping" sound when the infected person inhales. Whooping cough symptoms can last for weeks to months; it has been termed the "100-day cough" because of its long duration and severity. Severe complications of pertussis include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

How Does Infanrix Work?

This vaccine contains several different components: tetanus toxoids, diphtheria toxoids, and pertussis antigens. None of the components of this vaccine are "live," which means that the vaccine cannot cause diphtheria, tetanus, or pertussis.

It is also important to note that the pertussis component of Infanrix is acellular (not made up of whole pertussis cells) and is much safer than the whole-cell pertussis vaccine that was used in the past.
Simply stated, the components of this vaccine "trick" the body into thinking it has been exposed to these different infections. The body produces antibodies that will help fight the infections if future exposure occurs.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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