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Other drug names: A-Am An-Az B C-Ch Ci-Cz D-Dh Di-Dz E F G H I-J K-L M-Mh Mi-Mz N-Nh Ni-Nz O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q-R S-Sn So-Sz T-To Tp-Tz U-V W-Z 0-9   

Tetanus Antitoxin (Systemic)

Brand Names

Another commonly used name is TAT.


  • Immunizing agent (passive)


Tetanus antitoxin ( TET-uh-nus AN-ti-TOK-sin) is used to prevent and/or treat tetanus infection (also known as lockjaw). Tetanus is a serious illness that causes convulsions (seizures) and severe muscle spasms that can be strong enough to cause bone fractures of the spine. Tetanus causes death in 30 to 40 percent of people who get it.

In recent years, two thirds of all tetanus cases have been in persons 50 years of age and older. Having a tetanus infection in the past does not make you immune to tetanus in the future.

Tetanus antitoxin works by giving your body the antibodies it needs to protect it against tetanus infection. This is called passive protection. This passive protection lasts long enough to protect you until your body can produce its own antibodies against tetanus.

Tetanus antitoxin is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Injection (Africa, Asia, and Latin America)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of using the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For tetanus antitoxin, the following should be considered:

Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to tetanus antitoxin, to horses, or to any products of horse origin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as preservatives. Before giving you this medicine, your doctor will do a skin test or conjunctival (eye) test to see whether you are at risk of having a serious allergic reaction to tetanus antitoxin or the horse serum contained in this medicine.

Pregnancy- Studies on effects of tetanus antitoxin in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals.

Breast-feeding- It is not known whether tetanus antitoxin passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who have received this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children- Although there is no specific information comparing use of tetanus antitoxin in children with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults- Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults or if they cause different side effects or problems in older people. There is no specific information comparing use of tetanus antitoxin in the elderly with use in other age groups. However, there is no evidence that the effects of tetanus antitoxin in older adults differ from those in younger persons.

Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of tetanus antitoxin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems.

Proper Use of This Medicine


The dose of tetanus antitoxin will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average doses of tetanus antitoxin.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For prevention of tetanus infection:
      • Adults and children-One dose injected into a muscle.
    • For treatment of tetanus infection:
      • Adults and children-One dose injected into a muscle.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

  • More common
    • Difficulty in breathing and swallowing;  feeling of discomfort;  fever;  hives;  itching;  muscle aches ;  rash;  reddening of skin, especially around ears;  swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose;  swelling of joints;  swollen lymph glands;  unusual tiredness or weakness, sudden and severe 

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT