MMR Vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella virus vaccine, live)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is given as a single injection to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases.

Measles infection is caused by the measles virus. It causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can progress into a serious illness which may cause ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even death.

Mumps is caused by the mumps virus. It causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands. It can also progress into a serious illness which may cause deafness, infection of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and in rare cases sterility (inability of men to father children).

Rubella is caused by the rubella virus. It causes rash, arthritis, and mild fever. Rubella is especially dangerous during pregnancy as it can cause a miscarriage or serious birth defects in the newborn baby.

These diseases can easily spread from person to person through the air. Before the development of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, these diseases were very common. Fortunately, we now have the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine that can protect from all three of these diseases.

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine contains live attenuated (weakened) forms of the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. The vaccine works by stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies (proteins which will fight and kill the viruses against the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses).

What brand names are available for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

M-M-R II

Is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

No

What are the side effects of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

Mild side effects of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine include:

  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Swelling of the glands in the cheeks or neck
  • Other potential side effects that have been reported after taking the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine include:
  • Seizures caused by fever
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Temporary low platelet count that may cause bleeding problems
  • Serious allergic reaction
  • Deafness
  • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
  • Permanent brain damage
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/24/2015

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