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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.


(NEU-mo-KOK-al vack-SEEN)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23


This vaccine helps protect against serious infection (e.g., meningitis, bacteria in the blood) due to certain bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae). The use of this vaccine is important for preventing infection in individuals at risk (e.g., those with heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, diabetes, spleen dysfunction, HIV).

How To Use

Learn how to prepare and inject this vaccine. If any of the information is unclear, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Inject this medication into a muscle (IM) or under the skin (SC) as directed by your doctor. Use caution not to inject this vaccine too deep under the skin (e.g., intradermally) or into a vein (IV). Doing so may increase your risk for side effects. If you are receiving this vaccination before spleen surgery or before receiving cancer chemotherapy or other drugs that suppress your immune system, it should be given at least 2 weeks before these procedures to be effective. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.

Side Effects

Injection site reactions (e.g., pain, redness, swelling), muscle or joint aches, nausea, or fever may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: unusual weakness (fatigue), tingling or numbness of the hands or feet, easy bleeding or bruising, swollen glands. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice any other effects not listed, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: your vaccination/immunization history, recent illness or fever, alcohol use, any allergies (especially to thimerosal, mercury, or phenol). This medication is not recommended for use in children less than 2 years old. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known whether this drug is excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin or heparins), drugs that suppress the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, prednisone), anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapy). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Overdose with this vaccination is highly unlikely.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the need for other vaccines to prevent potentially severe illness (e.g., flu shots).

Missed Dose

Not applicable.


Store in a refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze.