Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine (Intramuscular)

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is given to people who are likely to be exposed to Japanese encephalitis in order to prevent the condition from developing.

Overview

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is an immunization shot used to prevent infection by Japanese encephalitis in people who are due to visit places or environments where the disease is present.

Japanese encephalitis causes inflammation of the brain, due to an infection around the spinal cord and brain. Chronic exposure to the infection can result in brain damage or death. Japanese encephalitis virus is spread via mosquito bites.

The vaccine is only intended as a preventative measure and will not cure an active encephalitis infection that has already started.

The vaccine is only given in a GP surgery or hospital setting and via a prescription from your health care professional. The medicine is produced as a solution for administration by injection.

Conditions treated

  • Japanese encephalitis virus (preventative)

Type of medicine

  • Vaccine
  • Injection

Side effects

Keep track of any side effects that you have noticed after receiving this drug. Before you receive your booster shot, be sure to tell your health care professional if you noticed any unwanted effects after your previous shot.

It is more dangerous to your health to become infected with Japanese encephalitis virus than to have the vaccine that will give you protection against it. However, this vaccine can cause a few side effects.

If you notice any of the following effects, you should check with your health care professional right away:

  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, and face
  • Hives
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Feeling light-headed, fainting
  • High fever
  • Behavior changes
  • Seizures, black-outs, or convulsions
  • Redness, swelling, or pain at the injection site
  • Minor fever, chills, flu-like symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Tired feeling
  • Muscle pains
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach pains
  • Mild itching or skin rashes

This list of side effects is not necessarily all-inclusive. If you notice any other odd or unexpected effects, you should check with your GP.

Serious side effects (anaphylaxis) usually occur within a few minutes of receiving this vaccine. If you begin to feel unwell right after you have had your shot, tell your health care professional right away.

Dosage

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is given in a course of three injections. You will receive your booster shots seven days and a fortnight to one month following your first dose. If your schedule is different from this, be sure to follow your health care professional's instructions or the schedule that is recommended by your local state health department.

This vaccine is designed to be used in adults and children over 12 months of age.

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is recommended for patients who are intending to spend over one month in areas where this disease is prevalent or where an epidemic has recently been noted. You must have your vaccination and complete your booster course at least 10 days before you are due to arrive in the affected area.

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is also recommended for use in people who are likely to be exposed to the disease through laboratory work.

You will be given this vaccination as an injection under your skin.

It is important that you have all your booster injections within the correct frequency. You must contact your health care professional if you miss one of your boosters or fall behind your schedule. In this case, you should receive your next dose as soon as possible. You will not need to re-start your whole course of vaccinations.

You must receive all the doses of the vaccine in the course. If you miss any of the boosters, you are not fully protected.

Interactions

Before you receive Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine, you must tell your doctor if you have received any other vaccinations.

You should also mention any drugs or treatments that could weaken your immune system, including those listed below, as this could cause an interaction to take place:

  • Tacrolimus
  • Sirolimus
  • Simulect
  • Sandimmune
  • Raptiva
  • Rapamune
  • Prograf
  • Orthoclone
  • Oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroids
  • Neoral
  • Mycophenolate
  • Muromonab-cd3
  • Mofetil
  • Leflunomide
  • Imuran
  • Gengraf
  • Etanercept
  • Enbrel
  • Efalizumab
  • Cellcept
  • Arava

Patients should be aware that this list is not necessarily complete and there may be other medicines that could cause an interaction when used with Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine.

Be sure to tell your health care professional if you are using any other forms of medication, including over the counter products, vitamins, herbal remedies, and diet pills. Do not begin taking any forms of medicine without telling your treating physician first.

Some foodstuffs, tobacco, and alcohol can cause adverse interactions with Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine. You must avoid drinking large quantities of alcohol for the first 48 hours following your vaccination.

Warnings

You should tell your doctor if you have ever noticed any odd reactions to any other medications or over the counter products, before you receive Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine. Do not receive any booster vaccinations if you have suffered any serious allergies after your first shot.

Do not have Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine if you are allergic to mouse proteins or thimerosal (a preservative).

You must not have this vaccination if you have received radiation or chemotherapy treatment to treat cancer during the last three months.

It is far more dangerous to risk becoming infected with Japanese encephalitis virus than to have the vaccination. Like many medications, this drug can cause side effects, but they are not generally severe.

Before you agree to have Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine, you must tell your health care professional if you know that you have allergies to any food groups, food dyes, preservatives, or animal by-products.

This medication can cause a bad reaction if you have an allergy to bee or wasp stings.

Do not have Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine if you have a history of seizures or any other neurological disease or neurological condition that affects the brain, especially if this was a reaction to any other form of vaccine.

You should not receive Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine if your immune system has been weakened, following certain diseases, bone marrow transplants, or certain cancer treatment medicines. Ask your health care professional for more information in this regard.

Although you can still receive this vaccine if you have a cough or cold, you should not have any injections if you are suffering from any severe illness or infection. In this case, you should wait until you have fully recovered, before receiving Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine.

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine can be harmful to an unborn baby and should not usually be given to pregnant women. However, if the woman travels to an infected area and is unprotected, she may contract the disease, which could be more harmful to the baby. Pregnant women should discuss the safety of having the Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine with their health care professional.

You must not continue to breastfeed your child if you are undergoing a course of Japanese encephalitis virus vaccinations. This drug can pass into breast milk and could present a danger to the nursing infant.

When travelling to areas that are believed to be infected with Japanese encephalitis virus, use insect repellents, mosquito netting to protect you at night in bed, and suitable protective clothing during the hours when mosquitoes are most active. These measures will protect you against bites from mosquitoes that could pass on Japanese encephalitis virus.

For at least ten days following a Japanese encephalitis virus vaccination, you must keep to areas where you can access medical treatment in case you suffer from a delayed allergy or bad reaction.

To combat some of the side effects that this vaccination can cause, your health care professional may recommend using Tylenol or ibuprofen or other aspirin-free pain relief medicines, immediately following the vaccination and for the subsequent 24 hours. Take this medicine in line with your doctor's directions or as per the instructions on the product label.

Be sure to prevent fever from occurring following this vaccination if you suffer from any form of seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

Storage

You will be given this medication in a clinic or hospital setting. It will therefore not be necessary for you to store this medicine in your home.

Summary

Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine is a prescription only medication that is administered via injection under the skin in a hospital or clinic.

The immunization shot is used to prevent infection by a condition called Japanese encephalitis. The condition is spread via mosquito bites. If you are due to travel to areas in Asia where the disease is prevalent, you should be vaccinated against this potentially fatal condition.

Note that Japanese encephalitis virus vaccine cannot cure an infection that is already in progress.

The vaccine can cause some side effects in people who are already undergoing treatment with certain drugs or who have certain health conditions. Be sure to discuss your medical history fully with your doctor before you have this vaccination.

This vaccine should not be used in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.