Menactra Side Effects
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Menactra, a vaccine that contains four of the most common types of meningococcal bacteria, is used to prevent meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal condition. Meningococcal bacteria, also known as Neisseria meningitidis, can infect the blood, spinal cord, and brain, possibly leading to other conditions, including meningitis, sepsis (blood infection), or pneumonia.
Meningococcus can spread through droplets of saliva that are expelled into the air when someone infected coughs or sneezes. It can also be passed through kissing, sharing a drinking glass or eating utensil with an infected person, or even through contact with objects the infected person has touched
Meningococcal disease initially generates general symptoms like fatigue. But then it can rapidly progress from symptoms similar to those of influenza, such as headache, neck stiffness, and fever, to coma, and death. Death occurs in approximately ten percent of cases and those with impaired immunity may be at an increased risk of contracting meningococcus or experiencing a greater severity of symptoms and/or complications.
Menactra strengthens the body’s immunity to meningococcal disease by exposing it to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein thereof. However, it will not provide protection in every person nor in anyone with an active, developed infection. The vaccine is also not without the risk of potentially serious side effects.
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alert to consumers and health care providers last updated in May 2009 warns of 15 confirmed reports of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) following the administration of Menactra. GBS often causes increasing weakness in arm, leg, and other muscles that can require hospitalization. While it usually resolves on its own, GBS can leave residual neurological difficulties.
Other side effects associated with Menactra include:
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of having been given Menactra, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a qualified pharmaceutical injury attorney for an evaluation of your case.