What Is Gardasil?
Wondering what is Gardasil and how it relates to human health? Gardasil is a vaccine released into general use in 2006 by the pharmaceutical company Merck. Intended to protect against the sexual transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV), also known as Genital human papillomavirus (HPV), Gardasil acts like all vaccines in preventing rather than curing the infection.
Though forty distinct strains of HPV have been recorded in both males and females, Gardasil will protect against four of these alone. Despite this small ratio, the Gardasil vaccine offers substantial benefits to females and males ages nine to 26 who are at risk of contracting HPV. The reason lies with the nature of HPV. Of the forty strains, two alone are responsible for 90 percent of genital warts caused by the infection in both men and women, as well as 75 percent of cervical cancer cases and 50 percent of vulvar cancer cases diagnosed in women infected with HPV.
Gardasil may not protect every person vaccinated, yet studies have shown that most males and females within the appropriate age group who have been vaccinated remained immune to the infection even while engaging in sexual relations with an infected partner. Even so, Gardasil will not protect against the remaining 36 strains of HPV.
Preventive treatment with Gardasil is administered in three injections over a period of six months. Pregnant women or people with a history of severe allergy to yeast should not receive the Gardasil injection. Patients already suffering from genital warts or cervical cancer cannot be helped through preventive treatments and will not benefit from the Gardasil vaccine, which at times has been misnamed "the cancer vaccine."
Gardasil side effects include: swelling, pain or itching in the injection area, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Some patients will faint after receiving an injection and are therefore at risk of fainting after receiving the Gardasil vaccine. Fifteen minutes of rest will typically return a patient to normal health.
Gardasil should only be administered by a health professional in accordance with doctor recommendations. Patients who experience severe side effects are encouraged to file a report with the FDA or call 800-FDZ-1088.