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.

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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

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What is the dosage for measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

Children should get 2 injections of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine under the skin (subcutaneously):

  • First injection (0.5 ml) at 12-15 months of age
  • Second injection (0.5 ml) at 4-6 years age

Some adults also may need the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. It is generally recommended that adults who were born in 1957 or later should get at least one injection of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. However, the vaccine is not needed in people who have laboratory evidence of immunity (antibodies) to the three viruses.

Which drugs or supplements interact with measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin should not get the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

Patients who are sick should get the vaccine at a later time after they have recovered.

Patients with a weak immune system may not fully benefit from the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

Some medications may decrease the effectiveness of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Examples include fingolimod (Gilenya), belimumab (Benlysta), anakinra (Kineret), adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), antineoplastic agents (anti-cancer medications), and other medicines that decrease the immune response.

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine may interact with the tuberculin (TB) test. The TB skin test should not be performed in patients who have received the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine within the previous 4-6 weeks.

Is measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Pregnant women should not get the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Pregnant women who need the vaccine should wait until after giving birth to get the vaccine. Additionally, females who have received the vaccine should avoid getting pregnant for 4 weeks (28 days) after vaccination.

It is not known if the measles or mumps vaccine can enter human milk. The rubella vaccine however may be excreted into human milk but usually does not cause side effects in the nursing baby.

What else should I know about measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection?

What preparations of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection are available?

Vaccine powder for injection: Single dose vials

How should I keep measles, mumps, rubella vaccine-injection stored?

Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine should be stored in the refrigerator, between 2 C to 8 C (36 F and 46 F).

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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Reviewed on 9/24/2015
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information

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