Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live (Intramuscular, Subcutaneous)

Meta: The MMR live vaccine counteracts infection that measles, mumps, and rubella causes; it works by increasing production of antibodies within the body.

The MMR vaccine (live) blocks infection that measles, mumps, and rubella causes.

Overview

The MMR live vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella) counteracts infection caused by the viruses of measles, mumps, and rubella. The vaccine increases the production of antibodies produced by your body to protect it from the virus.

Measles (sometimes also referred to as 10-day measles, rubeola, red measles, morbilli, hard measles, or coughing measles) is a type of infection that spreads easily from one individual to the next. Measles infection can cause severe health issues, including a chance of death, brain damage, seizures (convulsions), sinus issues, ear infections, pneumonia, or stomach issues. The chance of death and severe complications is higher for adults and young babies than for kids and adolescents who have had the MMR vaccine.

Mumps can also cause severe health issues, including meningitis and encephalitis, which impact the human brain. Also, men and teenage boys are highly susceptible to orchitis, which is a condition that causes swelling and pain in the scrotum, testicles, and possibly even sterility. In addition, mumps can cause miscarriage (abortion) for females within the initial 3 months of their pregnancy.

Rubella is a severe medical infection that can cause stillbirths, birth defects, or miscarriages when women who are pregnant get rubella. It is also called German measles.

It is suggested that everyone 12 months and older receive the MMR vaccine; however, women who are of appropriate age for childbearing and those who are traveling overseas should especially receive the vaccine.

Children must be 12 months or older prior to having the MMR vaccine. This will allow the vaccine to have enough time to be effective. For children who are younger, the mother's antibodies could be an interference with how effective the vaccine may be.

Patients must have this vaccine in a medical care facility by a doctor or other medical professional.

The MMR vaccine is available in powder form for solution. It is manufactured under the US brand MMR II.

Condition(s) treated

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella

Type of medicine

  • MMR vaccine

Side Effects

In addition to the benefits the MMR vaccine may provide, it is important to remember that vaccines can also cause side effects that may be undesirable. While it is not likely that every single side effect below could take place, if they do occur you should seek medical care.

Consult with your physician right away if you experience any of the side effects below.

More common side effects (medical care required):

  • High fever (over 39.4°C or 103 °F)

Less common side effects (medical care required):

  • Tenderness or painful eyes

Rare side effects (medical care required)

  • Vomiting
  • Vision doubled
  • Swelling, tenderness, or pain in scrotum or testicles
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Numbness, tingling, or painful feet, legs, hands, or arms
  • Neck stiffness
  • Irritability
  • Headache (prolonged or severe)
  • Confusion
  • Bruising on skin (dark purple areas)

Occasionally, side effects may take place that do not specifically require medical care. These side effects could disappear throughout the course of treatment as you become more adjusted to the medication. In addition, your medical care professional can likely inform you of additional methods of reducing or preventing certain side effects. Consult with your doctor if the side effects below become prolonged, troublesome, or if you have concerns or questions regarding them.

More common side effects (medical care not required):

  • Stinging or burning at injection site
  • Skin rash
  • Neck glands swelling
  • Fever ranging from 100-103 °F (or 37.7-39.4 °C)

Less common side effects (medical care not required):

  • Tenderness, redness, swelling, hard lump, or itching at injection site
  • Sore throat
  • Sensation of bodily discomfort (vague)
  • Runny nose
  • Pain or aches in joints
  • Nausea
  • Headache (typically mild)

The side effects included above (specifically joint pain or aches) have a higher likelihood of taking place for adults, specifically women.

Signs of an allergic reaction after the MMR vaccine:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Hives
  • Itching (specifically of the hands or feet)
  • Skin reddening (specifically near or around the ears)
  • Swelling of face, inside nose, or eyes
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness (severe and sudden)

Additional side effects not included here could also take place for certain patients. If other side effects are observed, consult with your medical care professional.

Contact your physician if you are seeking medical advice regarding side effects of the MMR vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration also accepts reports of side effects, and they can be reached by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Dosage

Different patients may be prescribed a unique dose of the MMR vaccine. Always follow administration instructions given by your physician. The information summarized here will cover only typical doses of this vaccine. If you were given instructions that differ from the information listed here, always follow the directions from your physician.

The strength of the vaccine will determine how much is given to you. Your medical professional will consider the quantity of doses taken per day, the allotted time between each dose, and the total duration for which the medication is taken to determine how much of the vaccine you should take.

Dosage Information Injection Form

  • To counteract measles, mumps, and rubella:

O Adults and kids over 12 months: A single dose should be injected under the skin.

O Children under 12 months: Babies should not have this vaccine.

Interactions

While some medications should not ever be used at the same time, in some cases two medications can be combined despite the likelihood of interaction taking place. Under these circumstances, your physician may decide to reduce the dose or take other precautions to protect you as a patient. While having the MMR vaccine, it is imperative that your doctor is aware if you are already taking any of the following medications. The interactions on the following list were chosen due to the possible significance an interaction could occur. This list is not entirely all-inclusive.

Having this vaccine administered with any of the medications below is not typically suggested. Your physician may choose not to prescribe the MMR vaccine, or they may adjust the other medications you are already taking.

  • Vinorelbine
  • Vinblastine
  • Tositumomab
  • Topotecan
  • Teniposide
  • Temozolomide
  • Rituximab
  • Procarbazine
  • Ponatinib
  • Pentostatin
  • Pemetrexed
  • Paclitaxel Protein-Bound
  • Paclitaxel
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Ofatumumab
  • Nilotinib
  • Nelarabine
  • Mitoxantrone
  • Mitomycin
  • Methotrexate
  • Mercaptopurine
  • Melphalan
  • Mechlorethamine
  • Lomustine
  • Irinotecan Liposome
  • Irinotecan
  • Interferon Alfa
  • Imatinib
  • Ifosfamide
  • Idarubicin
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Gemtuzumab Ozogamicin
  • Gemcitabine
  • Fluorouracil
  • Fludarabine
  • Etoposide
  • Epirubicin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Docetaxel
  • Deflazacort
  • Daunorubicin Citrate Liposome
  • Daunorubicin
  • Dasatinib
  • Dacarbazine
  • Cytarabine Liposome
  • Cytarabine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Clofarabine
  • Cladribine
  • Cisplatin
  • Chlorambucil
  • Carmustine
  • Carfilzomib
  • Carboplatin
  • Capecitabine
  • Cabazitaxel
  • Bosutinib
  • Bortezomib
  • Bendamustine
  • Alemtuzumab

It is not typically suggested to have a vaccine administered in addition to any of the medications below; however, certain circumstances may require the combination. If both prescriptions are to be taken at the same time, your physician may adjust the dose or frequency of either or both medications.

  • Ustekinumab
  • Trabectedin
  • Teriflunomide
  • Sirolimus
  • Secukinumab
  • Rilonacept
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Meningococcal Vaccine
  • Leflunomide
  • Infliximab
  • Immune Globulin
  • Golimumab
  • Fingolimod
  • Everolimus
  • Etanercept
  • Certolizumab Pegol
  • Azathioprine
  • Adalimumab

Having the MMR vaccine in addition to any of the medications below could trigger a heightened likelihood of some side effects taking place; however, the use of both medications could prove to be the most optimal form of treatment for your unique situation. If your physician chooses to prescribe both medications at the same time, your physician may adjust your dose or the frequency of either just one or both medications.

  • Abatacept

Some vaccines should not be administered while or immediately after the patient has been eating or drinking due to the likelihood of interactions taking place. The use of tobacco or alcohol can also cause interactions to take place when the MMR vaccine is being administered. Be sure to consult with your doctor how your use of tobacco, alcohol, or food can impact this vaccine.

Patients who have additional medical issues could experience impacts on the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine. Be sure to inform your physician if you have other kinds of medical issues, specifically:

  • Immune deficiency condition (including family history of): take caution, patients with this condition have a greater likelihood of coming down with side effects, and may experience side effects that are more severe than other patients. This vaccine may not be as useful for patients with this condition as it may for a healthy patient.
  • Illnesses with fever (severe): take caution, patients with this condition could confuse symptoms with potential side effects of the MMR vaccine.

Warnings

Individuals who have taken this vaccine should not attempt to become pregnant for a period of 3 months after the vaccine is injected. After receiving this vaccine, there is a possibility that the injection could be the cause of birth defects.

Inform your physician that you have had this injection if you are to receive:

  • A skin test for tuberculin in a time frame of 8 weeks after having this injection (the test results could impact the MMR vaccine)
  • A live vaccine of another type in a time frame of 1 month after having the MMR vaccine
  • If you are having a blood transfusion or another kind of therapeutic blood product substance in a time frame of 2 weeks after having the injection
  • If you are having a globulin or gamma globulin in a time frame of 2 weeks after having the MMR vaccine administered

When choosing whether or not a vaccine is right for you, it is important to compare the risks of having the vaccine against the benefits it could provide. You should make this decision with your physician. In regards to the MMR vaccine in particular, consider the following aspects:

Inform your physician if you currently have (or have had in the past) any kind of allergic or atypical reaction to this vaccine or any other medication. In addition, inform your doctor if you have allergies of any kind, including to animals, preservatives, dyes, or foods. Be sure to read and become familiar with the ingredients in the products you are taking (specifically those that are not prescription).

Special circumstances may warrant a child from the ages of 6 months to 12 months of age to have the measles vaccination.

Babies under 12 months should not have this injection unless they have an exceptionally high risk of coming down with a measles infection. It is important to wait until children are 12 months old because the infants are physically sent antibodies directly from their mothers prior to birth. These could interfere with how effective the MMR vaccine is.

Current research has not proven a risk for the infant when the mother is given the MMR vaccine while breastfeeding.

Individuals without rubella immunity could potentially experience joint pain after receiving the MMR vaccine (this is due to the presence of rubella in the vaccine).

Storage

As this injection must be administered in a healthcare facility, your doctor or medical care professional will ensure correct storage of the MMR vaccine.

Summary

The MMR vaccine (live) blocks infection that measles, mumps, and rubella infections can cause. The injection helps with the body's production of antibodies in order to protect from the virus. Measles can cause severe health issues, including a chance of death, brain damage, seizures (convulsions), sinus issues, ear infections, pneumonia, or stomach issues. Mumps can also cause serious health issues, including meningitis and encephalitis, which influence the brain. Also, men and teenage boys are highly vulnerable to orchitis (a condition that causes swelling and pain in the scrotum, testicles, and possibly even sterility). Mumps can also cause miscarriage (abortion) for females within the first 3 months of their pregnancy. Rubella is a disease that can cause stillbirths, birth defects, or miscarriages when women who are pregnant come down with rubella. It is also known as German measles.