Daptacel (Tdap) and Adacel (DTaP) Administration Errors
February 2, 2007
Daptacel, the pediatric formulation of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine, can be easily confused with Adacel, the adult formulation. The brand names, the generic names, the generic abbreviations, and the packaging are similar for both products. Confusion may result in inadvertently giving the wrong product for the patient’s age. Both vaccines contain the same antigens; however, the diphtheria and pertussis toxoids are present in much smaller amounts in the adult product. Daptacel (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed) is labeled for use in infants and children 6 weeks of age through 6 years of age, and is labeled for active immunization. Adacel (Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed) is labeled for use in people 11 through 64 years of age and is labeled for use as a booster immunization only.
Things that can be done to decrease the chance of an error include:
- Store the medications in separate places.
- Make sure the products are described as clearly as possible in computer databases to avoid order-entry errors.
- Write both the brand and generic names on all prescriptions along with indication.
- Verify the age of the patient prior to dispensing vaccine.
The following links are available for additional information and helpful ideas.
- ISMP Medication Safety Alerts:
February 2, 2007; University of Utah, Drug Information Service. Copyright 2009, Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.