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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Rabies Vaccine (Injection)

Rabies Vaccine (Injection)

Rabies Vaccine (RAY-beez vak-seen)

Prevents infection caused by rabies virus. The vaccine can be given before or after you are exposed to the rabies virus.

Brand Name(s):

Rabavert, Imovax Rabies
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive rabies vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to it.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • If you have not been exposed to the rabies virus but you are getting the vaccine because you are at risk (if you are a veterinarian, work with animals, or will be going to a country where rabies is common) you should receive 3 doses given on 3 different days within a 1-month period.
  • If you have been exposed to the rabies virus but you have not yet received the vaccine, you will need to get 5 doses given on different days within a 1-month period. A sixth dose may be given 2 months later. You may also receive a shot of immune globulin.
  • If you are at risk, another shot may be given every 6 months to 2 years.
  • It is important that you have the shots when your doctor tells you.

If a dose is missed:

  • It is very important that you do not miss a dose.
  • If you miss a dose, make another appointment for the next day.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse about any missed doses.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Tell your doctor before you receive this vaccine if you are taking chloroquine, anticancer drugs, or cortisone drugs (such as hydrocortisone, prednisone, or dexamethasone).
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows before you receive rabies vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any type of vaccine, or if you have an illness with fever now.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

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

  • Intense itching, hives
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, or throat
  • Fever
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, numbness, weakness in hand or feet
  • Pain in joints, like arthritis

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

  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Nausea
  • Headache
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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