Cervical Cancer Home > Gardasil Side Effects

Although most people tolerate Gardasil well, there are some potential side effects of the medication, such as pain in the area of the injection, diarrhea, and nausea. In many cases, Gardasil side effects are minor and can be easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, there are several side effects of Gardasil that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider, including a very high fever and signs of an allergic reaction. There are also some rare Gardasil side effects, such as headaches and appendicitis.

Gardasil Side Effects: An Introduction

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with Gardasil® (Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus [Types 6, 11, 16, and 18] Recombinant Vaccine); but, not everyone who takes Gardasil will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate Gardasil well. When side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(The Gardasil side effects discussed below are not a complete list of side effects reported with this drug. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of these side effects with you.)

Common Gardasil Side Effects

Gardasil has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, with many people having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects are always documented and compared to side effects that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. Based on these studies, the most common Gardasil side effects include:
  • Pain in the area of the injection -- occurring in up to 83.9 percent of people
  • Swelling in the area of the injection -- up to 25.4 percent
  • Redness in the area of the injection -- up to 24.6 percent
  • Fever -- up to 13 percent
  • Headache -- up to 12.3 percent 
  • Nausea -- up to 6.7 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 4 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 3.6 percent.
Other common side effects with Gardasil that were reported in more than 1 percent of people include, but are not limited to:
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Toothache
  • General ill feeling
  • Joint pain
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (such as the common cold)
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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