Gardasil: A vaccine designed for the prevention of cervical cancer and genital warts.

At the Women’s Clinic of South Texas we pride ourselves in having assumed a proactive role in the introduction of this vaccine to the Rio Grande Valley. Not only we were the first large clinic system to offer the vaccination, but we participated in a public awareness educational campaign.

Human papillomavirus or HPV is a virus you may not know too much about – but you should. Getting the facts about HPV and the diseases it causes is the first step toward helping to protect against it.

The vaccine has been recently introduced and it serves to protect against 4 different types of HPV viruses. Although there are many different types of HPV, and most of them are of no consequence, the four viruses (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) for which the vaccine covers account for the prevention of up to 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts.

The vaccine is given in three shots, the first shot is to be followed by the next one at the 2nd(second) month mark, and the third shot at the 6th(sixth) month mark.

Although the current studies have been conducted on patients that were within the ages of 9 (nine) and 26 (twenty-six) years old, this does not neccessarily mean that those patients older than 26 years old should be exempt from receiving the vaccine of they are clinical candidtates.

THESE HPV TYPES ARE OUT THERE

When it comes to HPV, there are 4 types of the virus you should really know about. That’s because they cause the most cases of HPV-related diseases in women.

HPV Types 16 and 18 cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.
HPV Types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts cases.
HPV types that affect the genital area can cause abnormal Pap tests.
Find out more about HPV transmission.

Commonly Asked Questions

It’s really common to still have questions about GARDASIL. Click on the questions below to get any information on GARDASIL you’re still looking for.

If I get vaccinated, do I still need to get Pap tests?

Yes. Vaccination with GARDASIL does not take the place of Pap tests (cervical cancer screenings). You should always follow your doctor or healthcare professional’s advice on getting Pap tests.

Pap tests have been proven to help save lives. A Pap test looks for abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix before they have the chance to become precancers or cervical cancer.

And since GARDASIL does not protect against all types of HPV, Pap tests will still be an important part of taking control of your health-and taking care of yourself.

If I’m already sexually active, is it too late for me to get vaccinated?

No, it’s not. Only your doctor or healthcare professional can tell you if GARDASIL is right for you. But, if you’re already sexually active, you may still benefit from GARDASIL. That’s because even if you have been exposed to HPV, it’s unlikely that you have been exposed to all 4 types of the virus covered by GARDASIL.

Getting vaccinated now could help guard you against HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18 if you are exposed to them in the future.

Could I get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL?

No. There is no way you can 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.

Why is GARDASIL only for girls and young women ages 9 to 26?

GARDASIL is only for girls and young women ages 9 to 26 because the clinical trials for GARDASIL included females within this age group. GARDASIL was initially studied in this age group because the majority of women who have HPV are exposed to it in their teens and 20s.

GARDASIL works best when given before there is any contact with HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18. That’s why GARDASIL is recommended for girls as young as 9 years old.

If you are older than 26, you may still be at risk for HPV, including Types 6, 11, 16, and 18. So, be sure to continue getting Pap tests as often as your doctor or healthcare professional recommends.

What if I’m late getting my second or third dose of GARDASIL?

Ideally, your vaccination schedule should be:

First dose: at a date you and your doctor or healthcare professional choose.
Second dose: 2 months after the first dose.
Third dose: 6 months after the first dose.
If you’re a few days late getting your second or third dose of GARDASIL, don’t panic. If you miss a dose, your doctor or healthcare professional will decide when to give the missed dose.

One way to make sure you’re on time for your second and third doses is to make your follow-up appointments before you even leave your doctor’s office. If you think e-mail, mail, or text message reminders will help you get your next 2 doses on time, we can help.

If HPV causes cervical cancer, why does GARDASIL only protect against 70% of cervical cancer cases?

Here’s why: Cervical cancer can be caused by about 10 to 30 types of HPV. GARDASIL helps guard against 2 of these types-HPV Types 16 and 18. These 2 types of HPV cause 70% of cervical cancer cases.

GARDASIL does more than help prevent cervical cancer. The vaccine also helps guard against 2 types of HPV that cause genital warts-HPV Types 6 and 11. These 2 types of HPV cause 90% of genital warts cases.

What are the side effects of GARDASIL?

It’s no surprise that you want to know more about the safety of GARDASIL before being vaccinated. The safety of a vaccine is an important part of its story.

As with all vaccines, there may be some side effects with GARDASIL. GARDASIL has been shown to be generally well tolerated in women and girls as young as 9 years of age. The most commonly reported side effects include:

Pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site
Fever
Nausea
Dizziness
Vomiting
Fainting

Fainting can occur after vaccination, most commonly among adolescents and young adults. Although fainting episodes are uncommon, patients should be observed for 15 minutes after they receive HPV vaccine.

Allergic reactions that may include difficulty breathing, wheezing (bronchospasm), hives, and rash have been reported. Some of these reactions have been severe.

Additional side effects reported during general use include: swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin), Guillain-Barré syndrome, headache, joint pain, aching muscles, unusual tiredness, and generally feeling unwell.

If you or your child has any unusual or severe symptoms after receiving GARDASIL, contact your doctor or healthcare professional right away. For a more complete list of side effects, ask your doctor or healthcare professional.

The safety of the vaccine is something that is being followed on an ongoing basis.

Do I need to get all 3 doses of GARDASIL from the same doctor?

You don’t need to get all 3 doses of GARDASIL from the same doctor. But you do need to follow the vaccination schedule to get the full benefits of GARDASIL.
If you know you’ll be at college or somewhere else when it’s time for your next dose of GARDASIL, that’s fine. But think about setting up an appointment now-it will save you from worrying about it later. Plus, you can make sure that your doctor has GARDASIL in stock.

If you think e-mail, mail, or text reminders will help you get your next 2 doses on time, we can help.

Why can’t men get vaccinated with GARDASIL?

While men are at risk for HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18, GARDASIL is not approved for use in men.

GARDASIL is only for girls and young women ages 9 to 26 because the clinical trials for GARDASIL included females within this age group.

My doctor ran out of GARDASIL and had me pick up my vaccine at the pharmacy. Is this OK?

Yes. The office may not carry GARDASIL or it may have just run out. If your doctor or healthcare professional does not have GARDASIL, he or she may write you a prescription so that you can pick up your vaccine at a pharmacy and then come back to be vaccinated.

If you pick up any of your doses of GARDASIL at a pharmacy, you’ll want to bring a cooler with you. The vaccine must be stored at between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Do not freeze the vaccine and try to protect it from light.

When your doctor or healthcare professional writes you a prescription for GARDASIL, be sure to get specific directions about picking up and storing the vaccine.

For more information on GARDASIL, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT GARDASIL

GARDASIL is the only cervical cancer vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of human papillomavirus (HPV): 2 types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases. GARDASIL is for girls and young women ages 9 to 26.

Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of GARDASIL should not receive the vaccine. GARDASIL is not for women who are pregnant. GARDASIL does not treat cervical cancer or genital warts.

GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone, and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important to continue routine cervical cancer screenings. GARDASIL will not protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV.

The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. GARDASIL is given as 3 injections over 6 months.
Only a doctor or healthcare professional can decide if GARDASIL is right for you or your daughter.

What are the ingredients in GARDASIL?
The main ingredients are purified inactive proteins that come from HPV Types 6, 11, 16, and 18. It also contains amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, sodium chloride, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, sodium borate, and water for injection.

What are cervical cancer, precancerous lesions, and genital warts?
Cancer of the cervix is a serious disease that can be life-threatening. This disease is caused by certain HPV types that can cause the cells in the lining of the cervix to change from normal to precancerous lesions. If these are not treated, they can turn cancerous.

Genital warts are caused by certain types of HPV. They often appear as skin-colored growths. They are found on the inside or outside of the genitals. They can hurt, itch, bleed, and cause discomfort. These lesions are usually not precancerous. Sometimes, it takes multiple treatments to eliminate these lesions.

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?
HPV is a common virus. In 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 20 million people in the United States had this virus. There are many different types of HPV; some cause no harm. Others can cause diseases of the genital area. For most people the virus goes away on its own. When the virus does not go away it can develop into cervical cancer, precancerous lesions, or genital warts, depending on the HPV type.

Who is at risk for Human Papillomavirus?
In 2005, the CDC estimated that at least 50% of sexually active people catch HPV during their lifetime. A male or female of any age who takes part in any kind of sexual activity that involves genital contact is at risk.

Many people who have HPV may not show any signs or symptoms. This means that they can pass on the virus to others and not know it.

Will GARDASIL help me if I already have Human Papillomavirus?
You may benefit from GARDASIL if you already have HPV. This is because most people are not infected with all four types of HPV contained in the vaccine. In clinical trials, individuals with current or past infection with one or more vaccine-related HPV types prior to vaccination were protected from disease caused by the remaining vaccine HPV types. GARDASIL is not intended to be used for treatment for the above mentioned diseases. Talk to your health care professional for more information.

This leaflet is a summary of information about GARDASIL. If you would like more information, please visit www.gardasil.com.

Patient Product Information

Patient Information about GARDASIL® (pronounced “gard-Ah-sill”)
Generic name: [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine,
Recombinant]

Read this information with care before you or your child gets GARDASIL*. You or your child will need 3 doses of the vaccine. It is important to read this leaflet when you receive each dose. This leaflet does not take the place of talking with your health care professional about GARDASIL.

What is GARDASIL and what is it used for?
GARDASIL is a vaccine (injection/shot) that helps protect against the following diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types in the vaccine (6, 11, 16, and 18):

  • Cervical cancer (cancer of the lower end of the uterus or womb).
  • Abnormal and precancerous cervical lesions.
  • Abnormal and precancerous vaginal lesions.
  • Abnormal and precancerous vulvar lesions.
  • Genital warts.

GARDASIL helps prevent these diseases – but it will not treat them.

You or your child cannot get these diseases from GARDASIL.

What other key information about GARDASIL should I know?

  • Vaccination does not substitute for routine cervical cancer screening. Females who receive GARDASIL should continue cervical cancer screening.
  • As with all vaccines, GARDASIL may not fully protect everyone who gets the vaccine.
  • Gardasil will not protect against diseases due to non-vaccine HPV types. There are more than 100 HPV types; GARDASIL helps protect against 4 types (6, 11, 16, and 18). These 4 types have been selected for GARDASIL because they cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts.
  • This vaccine will not protect you against HPV types to which you may have already been exposed.
  • GARDASIL also will not protect against other diseases that are not caused by HPV.
  • GARDASIL works best when given before you or your child has any contact with certain types of HPV (i.e., HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18).

Who can receive GARDASIL?
GARDASIL is for girls and women 9 through 26 years of age.
“Who should not receive GARDASIL?” below.

Who should not receive GARDASIL?
Anyone who:

  • is allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. A list of ingredients can be found at the end of this leaflet.
  • has an allergic reaction after getting a dose of the vaccine.

What should I tell my health care professional before I am vaccinated or my child is vaccinated with GARDASIL?
It is very important to tell your health care professional if you or your child:

  • has had an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
  • has a bleeding disorder and cannot receive injections in the arm.
  • has a weakened immune system, for example, due to a genetic defect or HIV infection.
  • is pregnant or is planning to get pregnant. GARDASIL is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
  • has any illness with a fever more than 100°F (37.8°C).
  • takes or plans to take any medicines, even those you can buy over the counter.

Your health care professional will decide if you or your child should receive the vaccine.

How is GARDASIL given?
You or your child will receive 3 doses of the vaccine. Ideally the doses are given as:

  • First dose: at a date you and your health care professional choose.
  • Second dose: 2 months after the first dose.
  • Third dose: 6 months after the first dose.

Make sure that you or your child gets all 3 doses. This allows you or your child to get the full benefits of GARDASIL. If you or your child misses a dose, your health care professional will decide when to give the missed dose.

What are the possible side effects of GARDASIL?

The most commonly reported side effects included:

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

Fainting can occur after vaccination, most commonly among adolescents and young adults. Although fainting episodes are uncommon, patients should be observed for 15 minutes after they receive HPV vaccine.

Allergic reactions that may include difficulty breathing, wheezing (bronchospasm), hives, and rash have been reported. Some of these reactions have been severe.

Additional side effects reported include swollen glands (neck, armpit, or groin), Guillain-Barré syndrome, headache, joint pain, aching muscles, unusual tiredness or weakness, and generally feeling unwell.

If you or your child has any unusual or severe symptoms after receiving GARDASIL, contact your health care professional right away.
Back to Top