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Anthrax vaccine (By injection)

Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AN-thrax VAX-een ad-SORBD)

Prevents infections caused by anthrax. Used either before or immediately after possible exposure.

Brand Name(s):


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This vaccine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to the anthrax vaccine, or if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health professional will give you this vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot under your skin or into a muscle.
  • You will receive 1 dose of the vaccine to start, and then you will be given the rest of the doses in the series at specific times. Some possible schedules are as follows: 1 and 6 months after the first dose, 2 and 4 weeks after the first dose, or 2 and 4 weeks plus 6 months after the first dose. Your doctor should tell you what your personal schedule is.
  • You might also need booster doses, usually at 6-month or 12-month intervals.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how the anthrax vaccine works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Blood thinner (including warfarin)
    • Medicine that weakens your immune system, including a steroid, cancer medicine, or radiation treatment

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have bleeding problems, a weak immune system, or a history of anthrax infection. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber, latex, aluminum, benzethonium chloride, or formaldehyde.
  • This vaccine is not a treatment for an anthrax infection. You will need additional medicine if you have already been infected.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches or tiredness
  • Pain, redness, tenderness, swelling, itching, or a lump where the shot was given, or limited arm movement

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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