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Common HPV Vaccine Side Effects

The HPV vaccine 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 HPV vaccine side effects include:
  • Pain in the area of the injection
  • Swelling in the are of the injection
  • Redness in the area of the injection
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain.
Other common side effects with the HPV vaccine that were reported in more than 1 percent of women include, but are not limited to:
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Toothache
  • General ill feeling
  • Joint pain
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Stuffy nose.


(For more detailed information, including specific percentages for these side effects, see Gardasil Side Effects and Cervarix Side Effects.) 


Rare HPV Vaccine Side Effects

There are other HPV vaccine side effects that can occur. These side effects happen in very few patients taking the HPV vaccine. For these side effects, it is difficult to tell whether the side effect is caused by the HPV vaccine or something else.
Some of these rare HPV vaccine side effects include, but are not limited to:
  • Headaches
  • Gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines, usually involving vomiting or diarrhea
  • Appendicitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the appendix
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is an infection or inflammation in the pelvic area that can lead to infertility and other problems
  • Asthma or bronchospasms (airway spasms)
  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs
  • Seizures
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome.


Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
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