Gardasil 9 is prescribed to help prevent certain conditions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Gardasil 9 belongs to a group of drugs called vaccines.
- .5ml of
- 1 Vial
Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on May 15, 2023
Written by Amber Watson, PharmD
This article describes Gardasil 9’s uses, side effects, and more. Below you’ll also find some coupon options to help save on the cost of Gardasil 9.
Common questions about Gardasil 9
Below you’ll find answers to a few commonly asked questions about Gardasil 9.
How does Gardasil 9 compare with Gardasil?
Gardasil is no longer available in the United States. Like Gardasil 9, it was a vaccine used to help prevent certain conditions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Gardasil protected against four types of HPV, while Gardasil 9 protects against nine types of HPV.
To learn more about how these vaccines compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Can Gardasil 9 cause long-term side effects?
No, long-term side effects aren’t expected with Gardasil 9. In studies, long lasting side effects weren’t reported after the vaccine was given.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about possible long-term side effects with Gardasil 9.
What is the cost of Gardasil 9 without insurance?
It’s likely that the cost of Gardasil 9 without insurance will be higher than the cost with insurance. The cost without insurance depends on several factors, including:
- the number of doses you receive
- the cost of your visit to a healthcare professional to receive each dose
Cost-saving programs for Gardasil 9 may be available if you don’t have insurance. You can check out our Perks discount coupons at the end of this article.
Your doctor or pharmacist can also tell you about other cost-saving options that may be available for Gardasil 9.
How does Gardasil 9 work? And how long does it take to start working?
Gardasil 9 is a vaccine that helps prevent certain conditions caused by HPV.
Gardasil 9 works by causing your immune system to make antibodies (a type of protein). These antibodies help fight off HPV and protect your body from an HPV infection. When you’re protected against HPV infection, you’re less likely to develop other conditions that HPV may cause.
Gardasil 9 starts helping your body make antibodies after your first dose. It may take several doses for your body to make enough antibodies to fully protect you against HPV. Gardasil 9 is usually given as a series of two or three doses over 6–12 months.
To learn more about how Gardasil 9 works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Uses of Gardasil 9
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves vaccines such as Gardasil 9 for certain conditions. Gardasil 9’s approved use is described below.
Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. In this article, we use the terms “female” and “male” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth.
Use for prevention of certain conditions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV)
Doctors may prescribe Gardasil 9 vaccine to help prevent certain conditions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). It helps protect against nine types of HPV. The age limit for Gardasil 9 is adults and children ages 9–45 years.
Specifically, Gardasil 9 is used for the prevention of:
- certain cancers or spots that may turn into cancer in females, including those that affect the anus, cervix, head and neck,* vagina, or vulva
- certain cancers or spots that may turn into cancer in males, including those that affect the head and neck* or anus
- genital warts
HPV is a group of viruses that can lead to HPV infection. HPV can spread from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact, often through sexual intercourse.
With HPV, you likely won’t have any symptoms. But some types of HPV can lead to genital warts and increase the risk of certain cancers. These include cancers of the anus, cervix, head and neck, vagina, and vulva.
Doctors may not prescribe Gardasil 9 vaccine in certain situations, such as for:
- replacing screenings or treatments for cancer or spots that may turn into cancer
- protecting against HPV exposure that occurred before the vaccine was given
- protecting against other types of HPV or cancers
* Gardasil 9 has received accelerated approval from the FDA to help prevent head and neck cancer, due to its effectiveness for this use. Accelerated approval is based on information from early studies of the drug. It’s granted for drugs that are used to treat conditions that don’t have a lot of effective treatment options. The decision for full approval of Gardasil 9 for preventing head and neck cancer will be made after more studies are completed.
Dosage of Gardasil 9
The dosage of Gardasil 9 you’ll receive may vary based on certain factors. Talk with your doctor about the dosage you should receive.
The dosing schedule for Gardasil 9 depends on your age. The vaccine is approved for use in adults and children ages 9–45 years. It’s usually given as a series of two or three doses over 6–12 months.
People ages 15–45 years typically receive three doses. The second dose is given 2 months after the first dose, and the final dose is given 4 months later.
Children ages 9–14 years may receive either two or three doses. The child’s doctor or pharmacist can help decide how many doses should be given. When three doses are given, the schedule is the same as described above. When two doses are given, a second dose is given 6–12 months after the first dose.
Your doctor will explain how Gardasil 9 will be given to you and where you’ll receive it. They’ll also tell you how much you’ll receive and how often.
Administering Gardasil 9
Gardasil 9 vaccine is given by a healthcare professional. It’s given as an injection into the muscle of your upper arm or thigh.
Interactions and warnings for Gardasil 9
Below, you’ll find information about Gardasil 9’s possible interactions and warnings.
Interactions of Gardasil 9
For some vaccines, certain things may affect how the vaccine works. These include getting other vaccines, consuming alcohol or certain foods, or taking other medications. This effect is called a drug interaction.
Before you receive Gardasil 9, ask your doctor to check for possible interactions. Be sure to tell them about any of the following you take or use:
- prescription and over-the-counter drugs
- vitamins, herbs, or supplements
To learn about drug-condition interactions, see “Warnings for Gardasil 9” just below.
Warnings for Gardasil 9
Gardasil 9 should be used cautiously by certain people.
Gardasil 9 could cause harm to people with certain health conditions. This effect is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors can also affect whether Gardasil 9 is a safe option for you.
Ask your doctor about specific warnings for Gardasil 9, and be sure to tell your doctor about your:
- current health, including any allergies to medications
- past health conditions or surgeries
Gardasil 9 can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Gardasil 9 or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Gardasil 9. They can tell you about vaccines that are safer options for you.
A mild allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
A severe allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
- swelling under your skin, usually in your hands, feet, eyelids, or lips
- swelling of your mouth, throat, or tongue, which can cause breathing problems
If you have an allergic reaction to Gardasil 9, call your doctor right away. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding and Gardasil 9
Information about Gardasil 9 and pregnancy and breastfeeding is described below.
Gardasil 9 and pregnancy
It’s not known whether Gardasil 9 should be received during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before receiving this vaccine.
If you receive Gardasil while pregnant, consider joining the vaccine’s pregnancy registry. This registry helps collect information about the safety of the Gardasil 9 vaccine during pregnancy. You can learn more about the registry by calling 800-986-8999.
Gardasil 9 and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether Gardasil 9 should be received while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before receiving this vaccine.
Gardasil 9 coupon
You may be able to save money on your prescription for Gardasil 9 by using our Perks discount coupons. They can be found at the end of this article.
If you have questions about how to pay for Gardasil 9, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
Side effects of Gardasil 9
Gardasil 9 may cause mild or serious side effects. More common mild side effects of Gardasil 9 and its serious side effects are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible side effects of the vaccine. Side effects can vary based on your age, overall health, and any other medications you take.
To learn more about Gardasil 9’s side effects, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read the prescribing information for Gardasil 9.
Mild side effects
More common mild side effects reported with Gardasil 9 are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the vaccine.
With many vaccines, mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If the side effects are bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage them.
Gardasil 9 vaccine’s mild side effects include:
- reactions around the injection site, including swelling, pain, redness, or deepening of skin color
- mild allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Interactions and warnings for Gardasil 9” section.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of Gardasil 9 are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible serious side effects of the vaccine.
With many vaccines, serious side effects are possible but not common. If you have serious side effects from this vaccine, call your doctor right away. If you’re having severe symptoms or a medical emergency, call 911 or a local emergency number.
In general, Gardasil 9’s serious side effects include:
- fainting, which may lead to falls
- severe allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Interactions and warnings for Gardasil 9” section.
What to ask your doctor
This article describes Gardasil 9’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Let your doctor know if you have questions about Gardasil 9 or would like more details about it.
Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Is it safe to receive Gardasil 9 if I have a yeast allergy?
- Can I receive Gardasil 9 at the same time as other vaccines, such as the flu shot?
- Do I take any medications that could make Gardasil 9 less effective?
- Gardasil 9 (human papillomavirus 9-valent vaccine, recombinant) suspension for intramuscular injection. (2023). https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil_9/gardasil_9_pi.pdf
Disclaimer: Optum Perks 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.