SIDE EFFECTS OF GARDASIL

The safety of a vaccine is an important part of its story. That’s why Merck and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are committed to monitoring the safety of GARDASIL on an ongoing basis.

What are the possible side effects of GARDASIL?

The most common side effects of GARDASIL:

  • pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site
  • headache
  • fever
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • fainting

Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your child’s doctor or health care professional may ask your child to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after getting GARDASIL. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your child’s doctor or health care professional.

Tell your child’s doctor or health care professional if any of the following problems occur because these may be signs of an allergic reaction:

  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing (bronchospasm)
  • hives
  • rash

Tell your child’s doctor or health care professional if your child has:

  • swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin)
  • joint pain
  • unusual tiredness, weakness, or confusion
  • chills
  • generally feeling unwell
  • leg pain
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • aching muscles
  • muscle weakness
  • seizure
  • bad stomach ache
  • bleeding or bruising more easily than normal
  • skin infection

Contact your child’s doctor or health care professional right away if any of these symptoms concern you, even several months after your child gets the vaccine.

For a more complete list of side effects, ask your child’s doctor or health care professional.

Is it possible to get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL?

No. It is not possible to get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL. That's because there is no live virus in the vaccine.

Instead, GARDASIL contains a protein that helps the body's immune system produce antibodies against HPV—without causing an infection.

For more information on GARDASIL, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

Who should not get GARDASIL?

People should not get GARDASIL if they have, or have had:

  • an allergic reaction after getting a dose of GARDASIL
  • a severe allergic reaction to yeast, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, polysorbate 80

What should my child’s doctor or health care professional know before giving GARDASIL?

Tell your child’s doctor or health care professional if your child:

  • is pregnant or planning to get pregnant. GARDASIL is not recommended for use in pregnant women
  • has immune problems, like HIV infection, cancer, or your child takes medicines that affect the immune system
  • has a fever over 100°F (37.8°C)
  • had an allergic reaction to another dose of GARDASIL
  • takes any medicines, even those you can buy over the counter

Your child’s doctor or health care professional will help you decide if you or your child should get the vaccine.

Use these questions to help start a meaningful dialogue
with your child’s doctor or health care professional.

View discussion guide >

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