Health Guide

Diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus vaccine (DTwP) (By injection)

Diphtheria Toxoid, Adsorbed (dif-THEER-ee-a TOX-oyd, ad-SORBD), Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed (per-TUS-iss VAX-een ad-SORBD), Tetanus Toxoid (TET-a-nus TOX-oyd)

Protects against infections caused by diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

DTP vaccine should not be given if your child has had an allergic reaction to it. If your child develops any severe side effects (such as fever of 103 degrees F, constant crying, seizures), future shots should be with DT vaccine only. DTP vaccine is not used in children 7 years of age and older.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • This vaccine is given to all infants and children between 2 months and 7 years of age.
  • The doctor or nurse will give the shot to your child.
  • The shot is given in the thigh or shoulder muscle.
  • Three doses should be given 4 to 8 weeks apart; a fourth dose is given 6 to 12 months after the third dose.
  • A booster dose should be given at age 4 to 6 years unless your doctor tells you differently.

If a dose is missed:

  • Try not to miss a dose.
  • Make another appointment for your child as soon as possible if a dose is missed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • This vaccine should not be given to children with certain medical conditions, such as illnesses with fever or seizures. Make sure your doctor knows if your child has any other medical problem.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Hives or itching.
  • Swelling of face or eyes.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • High fever (103 degrees F or more).
  • Prolonged crying or screaming (for 3 or more hours).
  • Confusion, headache, irritability.
  • Severe drowsiness that does not get better.
  • Convulsions (seizures).

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Swelling, redness, or a lump where the shot was given.
  • Fever (less than 103 degrees F) occurring with drowsiness, restlessness, vomiting, or swelling of neck glands.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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