What is Gardasil&Reg;?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2020
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Gardasil® is a vaccine that is designed to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, a leading cause of cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is administered through a set of three injections over the course of six months. Most doctors recommend that girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26 receive the Gardasil® vaccine to help protect them from serious health problems in the future. Many clinical studies suggest that Gardasil® can also be effective in women older than 26 as well as young men.

HPV is an incurable viral infection that is most often sexually transmitted. There are many different types of HPV, and certain types have been identified as especially dangerous. Types 16 and 18 are known to frequently lead to cervical cancer and other malignancies in the reproductive system, and types six and 11 are likely to result in genital warts. Gardasil® is designed to protect against these four types, as well as several others.


Some people experience negative side effects after receiving Gardasil® injections. The most common side effects include swelling, itching, and redness at the site of an injection, as well as more generalized symptoms such as headache, nausea, and vomiting. In addition, some recipients and clinical-trial volunteers have reported sore throats, coughs, fatigue, and insomnia following injections. Side effects usually go away within one or two days, though it is possible to experience a lasting allergic reaction to the vaccine. If an individual notices face and throat swelling accompanied by breathing difficulties, she usually should visit an emergency room as soon as possible to receive treatment.

Gardasil® is readily available to young women in most developed countries, and in specialty clinics in other parts of the world. Men and women who want to learn more about Gardasil® can speak with their primary care physicians or doctors at local health clinics. Doctors typically can help their patients decide whether or not the vaccine is appropriate by asking questions about the patient's medical and sexual history. Patients who have had adverse allergic reactions to drugs in the past and those who currently take certain medications may not be eligible for the vaccine. It typically is essential for a patient to be open and honest with her doctor to determine the need for the vaccine.

Gardasil® is most effective in people who have never contracted HPV. Vaccines cannot treat existing cases of HPV, cancer, or genital warts, though injections can help protect an individual from future infections. After receiving the set of three vaccinations, it usually is important for a woman to still schedule regular visits with her gynecologist to receive routine examinations for other reproductive health problems.



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