Gardasil - Personal Experiences

  1. Hi All! Because TPF can become the leading authority on footpads I'm optimistic about our chances of collecting some actual data here. If you search "gardasil" and "side effects" you get pages and pages of junk. Lots of reposts of the standard drug company side effect listings and lots and lots of unsubstantiated anti-vaccine ranting.

    ^ The official Gardasil website from Merck.

    ^ The FDA Gardasil approval page.

    So. First. What does seem to be true (from my limited research).

    Some very, very nasty side effects emerged in Australia but only for a few women. Two point two million is a large sample size so I'm inclined to look at this as an accurate reflection of the range of possible reactions. I'm worried that the women were ignored; I can easily see the same thing happening here in the US.

    The vaccine may cause miscarriage. I would love a better link for this claim. I've tried to decipher some of the clinical stuff available on the FDA's website but I can't come up with the 28 figure. You'll find that figure, "28 miscarriages," cited all over the place. I'm inclined to say, if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant it's probably best to stay away. Even if it's unrelated to the vaccine, waiting a bit can't hurt in this case.

    So now me.

    Name: Anne

    Age: 25

    Status: Two shots down, one to go

    Insurance: I'm still trying to decipher my bill but it looks like the cost of the shot was covered under my PPO's $500 annual "wellness benefit". This is what I was told when I finally got a human on the phone with my insurance company back in December. As far as I can tell it is only covered up to 26 (currently what the FDA has as the approved upper age limit).

    Side effects: Soreness at the injection site :biggrin: That's my favorite. But seriously, I was sore for a bit longer than with a Tetanus booster but it wasn't as bad. No rash or any redness with either shot. First shot - I felt "off" the day I got the shot. A little woozy but nothing incapacitating. The next day I was fine until about 5 p.m. when I got horribly, horribly dizzy. Didn't get out of bed for about 24 hours until the room stopped spinning. Then I was fine; no lingering effects. Second shot - no dizziness although I did feel a bit fuzzy for the rest of the day after I got the shot (but it's hard to tell if that's due to the shot or the 7:30 a.m. appointment).

    Overall reaction: It's a freaking cancer vaccine. Sign me up. Even if it's only a little effective I'll still go for it. But, that said, I'll still get regular pap smears.


    Name: Anne's sister

    Age: 21

    Status: All three shots done

    Insurance: Fully covered under parent's HMO

    Side effects: Nothing on the first two shots except, of course, soreness at the injection site. The nurse administering the second shot made her stay at the clinic for half an hour because they had been "having more reactions than usual to this batch" and she wanted to make sure sis wasn't going to faint. Nurse explained that she had been told it was the stabilizer that women were reacting to and not the vaccine itself. Third shot - dizzy immediately following the shot but not very badly and dizziness went away within 24 hours.

    So now it's your turn :tup: Please only post your experiences or those of women in your immediate circle. No "omg my friend's cousin's hairdresser said she knows someone who got the third shot and died." Please. And if you're under 13, please get a parent to post for you.
  2. I'm getting mine soon!! My doctor's getting the approval for me...seems really complicated. She said they'll make me to go the pharmacy and i have to get the three vials myself, bring them in when i want the shots and they'll adminster the shot. Did you do this?

    Only thing i've heard from my close friends about getting the shot is soreness and dizziness for the rest of the day. I'm looking forward to the soreness. :smile:!
  3. I'm on the flipside - I've given Gardasil to many women and girls and none of them have had many ill effects. (I'm a family medicine resident in my last year of residency.)

    Too bad I'm too old for Gardasil - I would gladly take a vaccine that may prevent me from getting cancer!
  4. I've gotten it.

    No ill effects.

    None of the shots hurt, no redness, no dizziness, no swelling, with any of the 3 shots.

    I got mine in the butt cheek and the doc was in a hury to get to an emergency surgery when I got the 3rd shot. That shot was kind of sore for a day or so. My husband found it funny and kept smacking me on the ass on purpose!!! But the other 2 were fine.

    I finished the round of shots back in mid-Jan.

    My insurance company did NOT pay for it. But my parents were more than willing to foot the bill.

    It's not a sure thing, but it gives you a better shot against several of the strands, so my parents saw it an investment into my future health.
  5. I got mine in the arm. I was a little sore, but I feel like that is to be expected with most shots. Otherwise, no side effects. I finished my 3 injections a year ago.
  6. I've got mine last yr and going to get my 3rd shot. Soreness in the arm for 1 whole day. otherwise no other bad side effects.
  7. I've had all 3 shots. Your arm gets progressively more sore after each shot, but it goes away within a day. Definitely get it!
  8. Great idea! I am sure a lot of people are curious about Gardasil. Here's my experience-
    Elle, age 21 (20 when I got the shot)
    all three completed
    NOT covered by my insurance, although I had bad insurance that didn't cover very much and have heard that most insurances do not cover Gardasil for grad students regardless of age which could be what happened to me.
    All three shots hurt going in- pretty unpleasant but not unbearable by any means. The first one was not too bad, the second was the worst, and the third was about like the first. My arm was sore for a couple days after but that was it. No other side effects. I definitely recommend it because the way I see it, any reduction in your risk for cancer is a good thing, right??
  9. I've had 2 shots. After my second shot my arm was sore for days! It felt like someone punched me. Other than that I have had no other side effects.
  10. i'm 22, i've had 2 of the shots so far. luckily the health department here had a thing going on last year that covered the full series if you started in october- so no money on my end. otherwise, i doubt i would have gotten the series.

    no probs with my first shot. the second one hurt like hell, and i just felt very tired and worn out (when i had slept well the night before, etc) and the arm i got the shot in was shaky (like i had too much caffeine, but it was limited t to that arm). but nothing bad so far. i'm due for my last one in april.
  11. My OBGYN highly recommends it. I am planning on starting in March/April. Doc. says that in his opinion, women over 26 should get the shot too. Women at 26 are just as likely to get it then as they are when they are 25. His words. I believe my sister has started it and is starting it. My insurance covers it fully.
  12. My daughter finished hers up in January and didn't have any problems with any of the three shots.
  13. 16.
    had 1st shot, missed 2nd because of Pneumonia and have to start the shots again sometime soon.
    My first shot was done at school, similar to msot of the gardasil shots in Australia. Not one girl, out of the 60 girls in my year had side effects, one fainted because she was afraid of needles though!
    fully convered by the government health policy too.
  14. I have finished the series (started Aug 07 finished Jan 08).
    Age: 23
    Sexual Activity: None! Waiting for the right one :love:

    First Shot: Made me extremely dizzy! I walked out of the shot clinic and into the waiting room, the room started spinning, I started perspiring profusely, ears ringing, and had to sit down for about 20 minutes. No soreness, but definitely felt "off" the rest of the day.
    Shot Two: Piece of cake. No side effects whatsoever.
    Shot Three: Soreness in my arm that lasted for about three days.

    All in all, I would definitely do it again and recommend it to my friends. From everything I read, this is a safe and effective shot.
  15. Age: 19

    I've only had one shot, next shot is scheduled in two weeks.
    I had horrible flu like symptoms after my HPV shot. I missed two days of college! the nurse told me that these symptoms are rare, but are a possibility.

    This is the weird part: the last two periods I've had (since the shot), I have had similar flu like symptoms for a day. I really really think this is related. Has anyone heard anything about this?! (I have not had these kind of 'pms' symptoms before...)

    also, my (parent's) health insurance does not cover Gardasil - my two sisters and I are getting our shots at the health department and each shot costs $21.