Diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus vaccine (DTwP) (By injection)


Diphtheria Toxoid, Adsorbed (dif-THEER-ee-a TOX-oyd, ad-SORBD), Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed (per-TUS-iss VAX-een ad-SORBD), Tetanus Toxoid (TET-a-nus TOX-oyd)

Protects against infections caused by diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping cough).

Brand Name(s)

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine


  • This vaccine is given to all infants and children between 2 months and 7 years of age.
  • The doctor or nurse will give the shot to your child.
  • The shot is given in the thigh or shoulder muscle.
  • Three doses should be given 4 to 8 weeks apart; a fourth dose is given 6 to 12 months after the third dose.
  • A booster dose should be given at age 4 to 6 years unless your doctor tells you differently.

If a dose is missed:

  • Try not to miss a dose.
  • Make another appointment for your child as soon as possible if a dose is missed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • This vaccine should not be given to children with certain medical conditions, such as illnesses with fever or seizures. Make sure your doctor knows if your child has any other medical problem.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Hives or itching.
  • Swelling of face or eyes.
  • Trouble swallowing or breathing.
  • High fever (103 degrees F or more).
  • Prolonged crying or screaming (for 3 or more hours).
  • Confusion, headache, irritability.
  • Severe drowsiness that does not get better.
  • Convulsions (seizures).

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Swelling, redness, or a lump where the shot was given.
  • Fever (less than 103 degrees F) occurring with drowsiness, restlessness, vomiting, or swelling of neck glands.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/4/2017

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch)

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.