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Poliomyelitis vaccine,live oral

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.


(POH-lee-oh vack-SEEN)



This medication is a vaccine. It causes your immune system to protect you from polio virus.

How To Use

This vaccine (OPV) is taken by mouth in a series of separate doses. The medication may be given directly from the bottle, mixed with certain liquids or on a sugar cube. Other doses may be given as the injection polio vaccine (IPV). It is critical to follow your physician's instructions exactly and complete the entire treatment series. All the doses of vaccine have to be taken before full protection against polio occurs. Discuss thoroughly the benefits and risks of the two types of polio vaccine with your doctor and which treatment series would be best for you or your child.

Side Effects

In general, this vaccine is safe and the benefits of the vaccine to prevent polio are very important. Very rarely polio has occurred in persons receiving oral polio vaccine or close contacts of vaccinated persons. Polio risk is higher for persons (including close contacts of the person receiving vaccine) with immune system problems such as HIV or certain cancers. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, including: any allergies (especially drug allergies), immune system disorders, cancer, certain blood disorders, current diarrhea, current vomiting, current fever/ illness. This oral vaccine should not be used in close contacts of persons with immune system problems. If a close contact receives this oral vaccine, contact should be avoided for 4-6 weeks or as directed. If contact must occur, precautions to avoid stool or saliva contact are recommended. Consult your doctor. Thorough hand washing after diaper changes in infants receiving the vaccine is recommended for adults who never have received polio vaccine. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This vaccine may be excreted into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all nonprescription and prescription medication you may use, especially: immune- suppressing drugs (e.g., corticosteroids such as prednisone, anticancer treatment such as alkylating agents, antimetabolites or radiation therapy). This vaccine temporarily interferes with TB skin tests. Any planned TB tests should be done before, with, or 4 weeks after use of this vaccine. 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.


Do not share this medication with others.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, consult your doctor or pharmacist promptly.


This vaccine must be kept frozen at a temperature below 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). It should not be thawed and re-frozen. It should be given to the patient immediately after being thawed. The color of the vaccine is usually pink but may be yellowed when shipped in dry ice at very low temperatures. The color of the vaccine prior to use (red-orange-pink-yellow) has no effect on the virus or efficacy of the vaccine. Solution should be clear. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for full instructions.