Anthrax vaccine (Injection)


Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AN-thrax VAX-een ad-SORBD)

Protects against infections caused by anthrax.

Brand Name(s)


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this vaccine. The vaccine is given as a shot under your skin or into a muscle.
  • Tell your doctor if you have had any recent vaccinations. You will need to have this injection in a different area of your body.
  • Muscle injection: You will receive a dose into your muscle right away. You will then be given shots at 1 month and 6 months.
  • Skin injection: You will receive the vaccine under your skin if you have bleeding or bruising problems. The first shot will be given right away. You will then be given shots at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 6 months.
  • Booster shots: You will receive at least 2 booster shots at 12 and 18 months for both skin and muscle injections. You may need an additional yearly booster shot if you are still at risk of infection.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how the anthrax vaccine works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Blood thinner medicine, such as warfarin
    • Medicine or treatments that weaken your immune system, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone)

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have a weak immune system, a history of anthrax infection, or blood clotting problems.
  • This vaccine is not a treatment for an anthrax infection. You will need additional medicine to treat the infection.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to rubber or latex. The stopper of the vial contains dry natural rubber, which may cause an allergic reaction.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Muscle aches or tiredness
  • Pain, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given, or limited arm movement

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 12/4/2015

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