tetanus toxoid injection (Tetanus Toxoid Absorbed)

What is tetanus toxoid?

Tetanus toxoid is a vaccine used to provide active immunity against tetanus toxin. Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that may result in death.

Is tetanus toxoid available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for tetanus toxoid?


Why is tetanus toxoid prescribed to patients?

The tetanus toxoid vaccine is used for active immunization against tetanus in individuals 7 years of age and older.

What are the side effects of tetanus toxoid?

All vaccines may cause minor injection site reactions including:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Warmth
  • Discomfort

Some individuals also may experience:

Rare but serious side effects include:

Rare cases of anaphylactic shock have been reported after receiving some preparations containing the tetanus toxoid.

What is the dosage for tetanus toxoid?

The recommended dose is 0.5 ml injected intramuscularly. Repeat at 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose and at 6 to 12 months after the second dose.

Which drugs or supplements interact with tetanus toxoid?

Some medications may decrease the therapeutic benefits of the tetanus toxoid vaccine. Example of such medications include:


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Is tetanus toxoid safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?

Tetanus toxoid is classified as FDA pregnancy risk category C. Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks. Adequate and well-controlled studies of the tetanus toxoid vaccine in pregnant women are lacking.

It is not known if tetanus toxoid is excreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about tetanus toxoid?

What preparations of tetanus toxoid are available?

Vial: 0.5 ml unit dose & 5 ml vial

How should I keep tetanus toxoid stored?

Tetanus toxoid vaccines should be refrigerated between 2.2 C and 7.7 C (36 F and 46 F). Do not freeze.

How does tetanus toxoid work?

Tetanus toxin causes tightening of the muscles all over the body, and can lead to the locking of the jaw which prevents the victim from opening their mouth or swallowing. Tetanus is caused by the Clostridium tetani (C.tetani) bacteria that secrete the toxin. C.tetani usually enters the body through open wounds. The tetanus vaccination is widely available and is highly effective in preventing this potentially deadly disease.

Since our bodies do not naturally produce antibodies against the tetanus toxin, primary vaccination and booster shots given every 10 years are recommended to protect individuals of all ages. Vaccines contain antigens that induce the production of antibodies against the toxin produced by C. tetani infections.

Tetanus toxoid vaccines are not intended to treat active tetanus infections. Active tetanus infections may be treated with the tetanus immune globulin. However, patients must receive the tetanus toxoid vaccine after the infection has been adequately treated.


Tetanus toxoid injection (Tetanus Toxoid Absorbed) is a vaccine used to provide active immunity against the tetanus toxin. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing and storage information, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


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