Tdap Shot Reactions

Tdap (Adacel®, Boostrix®) is a "booster" vaccine used for preventing diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough) in both adolescents and adults. Although most people respond well to this vaccine, as with any vaccination, side effects are possible.
In clinical studies where a number of people received the Tdap shot, reactions at the injection site occurred. These reactions included injection site pain, redness, and swelling. Other common side effects of this vaccine included headache, fatigue, and nausea.
While most reactions to the Tdap shot appear to be mild and do not require medical attention in most cases, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience:
  • Severe shoulder and/or upper arm pain (which may be a sign of a problem known as brachial neuritis)
  • Severe arm swelling
  • Weakness, tingling, or paralysis (which may be signs of Guillain-Barré syndrome)
  • A high fever
  • Any behavior changes
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:


    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.


(Click Side Effects of Tdap for a more complete list of reactions seen with the Tdap shot and to learn more about the clinical studies used to find these potential side effects.)
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