Specialty Drug
HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS VACCINE is a vaccine. It is used to prevent infections of four types of the human papillomavirus. In women, the vaccine may lower your risk of getting cervical, vaginal, vulvar, or anal cancer and genital warts. In men, the vaccine may lower your risk of getting genital warts and anal cancer. You cannot get these diseases from the vaccine. This vaccine does not treat these diseases. Compare vaccinations.

What is Gardasil?

Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Gardasil

Therapeutic ClassificationsVaccine




Human papillomavirus (HPV) recombinant quadrivalent vaccine is an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection caused by human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18). It works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus.

HPV infection is usually a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and is easily spread by having sex with an infected person. This vaccine helps prevent anal, cervical, vulvar, or vaginal cancer; genital warts; and abnormal or precancerous diseases of the anus, cervix, vagina, and vulva in girls and women 9 to 26 years of age. This vaccine also helps prevent abnormal or precancerous diseases of the anus, anal cancer, and genital warts in boys and men 9 to 26 years of age. This vaccine will not treat these diseases or protect you against diseases that are caused by other HPV types. The vaccine will also not protect you against other sexually transmitted diseases that are not caused by HPV.

This vaccine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Proper UseTOP

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this vaccine. It is given as a shot in the muscle of your upper arm or upper leg.

To get the best possible protection against infection with the HPV virus, you should complete the vaccine dosing schedule, even if you are not directly exposed to HPV.

This vaccine is usually given as three shots. You will need another dose at 2 months and 6 months after the first dose, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Missed DoseTOP

This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

Before UsingTOP

In deciding to use a vaccine, the risks of taking the vaccine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this vaccine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of human papillomavirus recombinant quadrivalent vaccine in children younger than 9 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of human papillomavirus recombinant quadrivalent vaccine have not been performed in the geriatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Drug InteractionsTOP

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other InteractionsTOP

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical ProblemsTOP

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Immune deficiency condition, or family history of—This condition may increase the chance and severity of side effects with the vaccine and/or may decrease the useful effects of the vaccine.
  • Severe illness with fever—The symptoms of this condition may be confused with the possible side effects of the vaccine.


It is very important that you return to your doctor's office at the right time for all of the doses. Be sure to notify your doctor of any side effects that occur after you receive this vaccine.

This vaccine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, swelling of the tongue and throat, or trouble with breathing after you get the injection.

This vaccine does not replace your routine screening tests for anal cancer or cervical cancer (pap test). You will need to see your doctor for screening tests even after receiving this vaccine.

You or your child may feel faint, lightheaded, or dizzy right after you receive this vaccine. Sitting or lying down for 15 minutes after you receive the vaccine may help. If any of these side effects occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert. If this problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

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