is a vaccine used to help protect against diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Can be given to boys and girls starting at the age of 9.

Gardasil Overview


Gardasil is a vaccine that is used for males and females to help protect against diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). 

Gardasil can help prevent cervical cancer, genital warts, and other conditions caused by 4 types of HPV.

The vaccine, which is given as a series of three injections, does not protect against all types of HPV; however, it does protect against some of the most common types. 

Common side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site.


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Uses of Gardasil

Gardasil is a vaccine that is used for girls and women 9 through 26 years of age to help protect against the following diseases caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV): 

  • Cervical cancer 
  • Vulvar and vaginal cancers 
  • Anal cancer
  • Genital warts 
  • Precancerous cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal lesions 

Gardasil is used for boys and men 9 through 26 years of age to help protect against the following diseases caused by HPV:

  • Anal cancer 
  • Genital warts
  • Precancerous anal lesions

The diseases listed above have many causes and Gardasil only protects against diseases caused by certain kinds of HPV (called Type 6, Type 11, Type 16, and Type 18). Most of the time, these 4 types of HPV are responsible for the diseases listed above.

  • Gardasil cannot protect you from a disease that is caused by other types of HPV, other viruses, or bacteria.
  • Gardasil does not treat HPV infection.
  • You cannot get HPV or any of the above diseases from Gardasil.


Gardasil Drug Class

Gardasil is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Gardasil

The most common side effects include:

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

Contact your health care provider right away if you get any symptoms that concern you, even several months after getting the vaccine.

This is not a complete list of side effects. Ask your health care provider for more information.

Gardasil Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • Immunosuppressive therapies, including irradiation, antimetabolites, alkylating agents, cytotoxic drugs, and corticosteroids 

This is not a complete list of Gardasil drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. 

Gardasil can be given at the same time as:

  • Recombivax HB 1 [hepatitis B vaccine (recombinant)]
  • Menactra [Meningococcal (Groups A, C, Y and W-135) Polysaccharide Diphtheria Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine]
  • Adacel [Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed (Tdap)]

Gardasil Precautions

Tell your health care provider if you have any of the following problems because these may be signs of an allergic reaction: 

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

Tell your health care provider if you have:

  • 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

Fainting can happen after getting Gardasil. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care provider may ask you to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after the injection. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your health care provider.

It important to know with Gardasil:

  • You should continue to get routine cervical cancer screening.
  • Gardasil may not fully protect everyone who gets the vaccine.
  • Gardasil will not protect against HPV types that you already have.

You should not get this vaccine if you 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

Gardasil Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Gardasil, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication. 

Inform MD

Tell your health care provider if you: 

  • are allergic to Gardasil or any of its ingredients as well as if you had an allergic reaction to another dose of Gardasil. 
  • are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. This vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnant women.
  • have immune problems, like HIV infection, cancer, or you take medicines that affect your immune system.
  • have a fever over 100°F (37.8°C). 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Gardasil and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications and vaccines based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Gardasil falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Gardasil. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this vaccine, and the babies did not show any medical issues related to this vaccine. Gardasil is not recommended for use in pregnant women. Gardasil should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. 

Gardasil and Lactation

Tell your doctor is you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. 

It is not known if Gardasil crosses into human milk. Because some vaccines can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this vaccine, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this vaccine. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using Gardasil. 

Gardasil Usage

  • Gardasil is a shot that is usually given in the arm muscle.
  • Make sure that you get all 3 doses on time so that you get the best protection. If you miss a dose, talk to your health care provider.

Gardasil Dosage

Gardasil is a vaccine that is usually injected in the arm muscle. You will need 3 vaccines given on the following schedule:

  • Dose 1: at a date you and your health care provider choose.
  • Dose 2: 2 months after Dose 1.
  • Dose 3: 6 months after Dose 1.

Gardasil Overdose

Gardasil is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting. It is unlikely that an overdose will occur in this setting. However, if overdoes is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.