Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Bleeding disorders: If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking medications that make you more likely to bleed (i.e., warfarin, acetylsalicylic acid [ASA]) tell the person giving you the injection. There is a risk of excessive bleeding where you get the injection if it is not done carefully.
Allergic reactions: As with any vaccine, allergic reactions are possible with the rabies vaccine. Your doctor may want you to remain in the clinic or office for a period of time after receiving the vaccine, to ensure that you do not develop an allergic reaction.
Immune system: As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not be as effective for people with a weakened immune system (e.g., people with AIDS or cancer, people taking antirejection medications after an organ transplant, people receiving chemotherapy, people taking any medication that suppresses the immune system). Your doctor may want to do blood tests to check how well your body has responded to the vaccine.
Vaccine protection: As with any vaccine, this vaccine may not protect 100% of people who receive it and may not prevent infection in those people already infected with virus.
Pregnancy: If there is a significant risk of contact with rabies, women should consider receiving vaccination before pregnancy. Infection with the rabies virus is frequently fatal if vaccination is not started as soon as possible after contact with the virus. For this reason, the benefits of receiving the rabies vaccine while pregnant outweigh the risks to the mother and developing baby.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if rabies vaccine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Because infection with the rabies virus is often fatal, vaccination should not be postponed if it is needed. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.