Arexvy is a vaccine given to help prevent certain infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults ages 60 years and older. Arexvy is given as an injection into a muscle.

Arexvy basics

Arexvy is a brand-name vaccine. It’s considered a biologic medication because it’s made using components from living organisms. It isn’t available in a biosimilar or generic form. (Biosimilars are like generic drugs. But unlike generics, which are made for nonbiologic drugs, biosimilars are made for biologic drugs.)

Arexvy is a vaccine given to adults ages 60 years and older to help prevent lower respiratory tract infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Examples of these infections include pneumonia and bronchitis.

RSV is a virus that can lead to an infection in the lungs and airways. In some cases, this results in mild, cold-like symptoms. But in some people, RSV infections may be severe and lead to pneumonia. Serious cases requiring hospitalization are more common in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

Arexvy is a vaccine that contains a protein from RSV. It works by helping your immune system learn to recognize and respond to this protein. After you receive Arexvy, it takes about 2 weeks for your immune system to make antibodies to protect against RSV and the severe lung infections the virus can cause.

Like most vaccines, Arexvy may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Arexvy may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:

  • your age
  • other health conditions you have
  • other medications you take

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Arexvy. They can also suggest ways to help reduce or manage side effects.

Mild side effects

Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Arexvy can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist or read Arexvy’s prescribing information.

Mild side effects of Arexvy that have been reported include:

  • pain, swelling, or discoloration at or around the injection site
  • fatigue (low energy)
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • fever
  • mild allergic reaction*

Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Arexvy are possible, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Arexvy, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.

Serious allergic reactions may occur with Arexvy. To learn more, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.

Allergic reaction

Some people may have an allergic reaction to Arexvy. While allergic reaction wasn’t reported in studies of Arexvy, it can still happen.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause difficulty breathing.

Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Arexvy. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.

The information below describes the dosage that is commonly prescribed or recommended.

Form

Arexvy comes as a powder in a vial. A healthcare professional will mix the powder with liquid. The vaccine is given as an injection into a muscle, usually the upper arm.

Recommended dosage

Arexvy is given as a single dose of 0.5 milliliters (mL). You may receive this vaccine at a doctor’s office, pharmacy, or clinic. To learn more about the vaccine’s dosage, see this article.

Below is important information you should consider before receiving Arexvy.

Interactions

Taking a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.

Arexvy is not known to interact with other vaccines, medications, herbs, supplements, or foods. The manufacturer did not list any interactions in Arexvy’s prescribing information.

Before receiving Arexvy, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Arexvy and alcohol

Alcohol is not known to interact with Arexvy. It should be safe to consume alcohol after receiving Arexvy.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

It’s not known whether Arexvy is safe to receive during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. The vaccine isn’t approved for people younger than 60 years of age.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, your doctor can tell you about Abryso, an RSV vaccine that can be received during pregnancy.

Warnings

Arexvy may cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. Other factors may also affect whether the Arexvy vaccine is a good option for you.

Talk with your doctor about your health history before getting Arexvy. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:

  • weakened immune system
  • past allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in Arexvy or similar vaccines
  • fainting when receiving vaccines in the past
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding

Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Arexvy.

Does Arexvy cause long-term side effects?

It’s possible, but long-term side effects weren’t reported in studies of Arexvy.

If you’re concerned about possible long-term side effects from Arexvy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also report vaccine side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System online or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

How does Arexvy compare with Abrysvo?

Arexvy and Abrysvo are similar vaccines. Both are given to help prevent lower respiratory tract infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in adults ages 60 years and older.

In addition, Abrysvo is used during certain weeks of pregnancy to help protect against severe RSV-related respiratory illnesses in infants. Arexvy is not approved for use during pregnancy.

Currently, each vaccine is given as a single dose. It’s not yet known whether more doses might be needed in the future for continued protection from RSV.

If you have other questions about how Arexvy and Abrysvo compare, talk with your doctor. They can help determine whether one of these vaccines is right for you.

Is Arexvy given for other types of infections, such as the flu?

No. Arexvy is given only to help prevent lower respiratory tract infections caused by RSV.

RSV is a virus that can cause an infection in the respiratory tract (lungs or airways). Arexvy is not given to treat or help prevent other types of respiratory infections, such as influenza (the flu).

Other vaccines are available to help prevent severe illness from other types of infections, including the flu. You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist about which vaccines are right for you.

Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Arexvy. What you’ll pay for Arexvy may depend on several factors, such as your location.

If you have questions about how to pay for your vaccine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.

If you’d like to explore an alternative to Arexvy, talk with your doctor. A similar vaccine called Abrysvo is available to help prevent lower respiratory tract infections caused by RSV in certain people.

If you’d like to learn more about Arexvy and Abrysvo, talk with your doctor. They can determine whether one of these vaccines may be right for you.

If you have questions about taking Arexvy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • Do you recommend that I get the Arexvy vaccine?
  • Is it safe for me to receive Arexvy at the same time as other vaccines?
  • How long does protection last after receiving Arexvy?

To learn more about Arexvy, see this article:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.