One of the fondest memories of childhood is of ourselves playing under the hot, burning sun every day during the summer holidays. I am sure these are some of the most cherished memories of any child, if you ask them, and harks back to a time when life was simpler and less cluttered. Summer holidays were some for the best times, and every child would wait with bated breath for the school year to get over so they could spend the next two months rolling around in the playground with friends.
One byproduct of this was the fact that we used to get injured a lot and then had to listen to our parent’s rant about us not caring for our bodies and having a bit too much fun for our own good. While most of these injuries would have healed, some do leave a mark as a reminder of our naughtiness and carelessness during younger days. And one of the main things that parents used to ensure if we did get a wound that looked worrisome was got us a tetanus shot. And today, we will talk about this very medicine.
It contains tetanus toxoid, which is a mixture of sterile solution of toxoid and isotonic sodium chloride solution. This vaccine for booster-usage only appears clear or slightly turbid and is administered as an injection. It is manufactured by Cipla Ltd. In case of infants, tetanus is usually administered along with two other vaccines if there is diphtheria or pertussis (a whooping cough) in a series of three injections. Also, a booster vaccine is injected in adults and older children in case of an injury provided the patient has not gotten a shot for five to ten years before.
The injection is given to children above seven years of age and adults in order to provide cover (immunity) against tetanus (lockjaw), which is a life-threatening disease that arises through wounds and injuries. A 0.5 ml dose is made such that it comprises of 4 Lf (flocculation units) of tetanus toxoid.
Some of the side effects can be of rare occurrence, but serious in nature. Here is a list of such side effects due to consumption:
If you get any allergic reactions due to this injection, contact the doctor immediately.
The Tetanus Injection will be administered to you by the doctor or the nurse. Do not attempt to inject yourself. But it should not be injected into the gluteal area, or areas where there may be a major nerve trunk. One shot is usually sufficient to provide the requisite protection to the patient. It should be remembered by the patient that if he/she is under any other kind of medication, it must be informed to the physician. This includes over the counter items like herbal supplements and vitamins, while any kind of allergies should also be shared. Sometimes, suffering from some other health issues can lead to susceptibility to side effects, so inform the doctor of any such conditions as well.
If a dosage is missed, then the doctor should be contacted for the best step forward. An overdose usually does not occur with this vaccine.
This vaccine works by making the body secrete its own version of a protection (antibodies). It starts a mild infection inside the body, which isn’t harmful and does not cause any illness but instead makes the body’s immune system work towards producing antibodies so as to protect against infections in the future.
It is better to avoid alcohol during the dosage period, as interaction results are unknown. It is safe to be administered on pregnant women, even though animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus. It is also fine to be injected into women who are lactating, as studies have shown that the vaccine does not affect the baby in any manner. Although only limited data are available, it is mostly safe to be administered on kidney and liver patients, although a quick check with the doctor would not be a bad idea.
In case of vaccine being administered to the child, let the doctor know of any previous instance of bad reaction to vaccine, bleeding disorders, high fever (higher than 103 degrees F) in the past vaccinations, history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, other reaction (swelling, itching at injection site) after previous vaccination, immune system disorders, illness/infection, seizures, and other nervous system disorders.
The Tetanus Injection also does not affect the ability to drive, so no worries there. As an extension, heavy machinery can also be used. Also, remember that special care should be taken when being injected with tetanus toxoid if there is severe pain or swelling in and around the region of the previous administration.
Some of the alternatives for Tetanus Injection are the DTaP vaccine (Diptheria, Tetanus, acellular Pertussis) for children between 0 to 6 years old, Tdap vaccine (Tetanus, Diptheria, acellular Pertussis) for adolescents and adults, Td and DT vaccines (Tetanus, Diptheria).
Drug interactions could change the workings of any prior medication and can also up the risk of any serious side effects. It is best not to start, stop or change the dosage of any medication unless you have got approval from the doctor. Some of the drugs that vaccines could react with are "blood thinners" (like warfarin), cancer chemotherapy, drugs that lead to weakening of the immune system (like cyclosporine, tacrolimus), corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone, prednisone) and other recent/planned vaccinations (diphtheria/tetanus toxoids).
Ans: Tetanus toxin provides passive immunity to the person.
Ans: Tetanus toxoid is an inactivated toxin. It is neither a live vaccine nor attenuated.
Ans: It is not an antibiotic. It is an inactive protein.
Ans: It may not require a skin test. Kindly consult your doctor for the same.
Ans: It has to be refrigerated between 2-8 degrees centigrade.
Ans: Tetanus toxoid does not contain horse serum.
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