Arexvy is a brand-name injection that’s prescribed to help prevent lung disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in older adults. Arexvy contains an adjuvanted RSV vaccine.
Arexvy is FDA-approved to help prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV infection in adults ages 60 years and older. Lower respiratory tract disease refers to lung disease, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
You’ll find key information about Arexvy below.
- Vaccine form: solution for injection in a single-dose vial
- Generic available? no
- Prescription required? yes
- Controlled substance? no
- Year of FDA approval: 2023
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Arexvy.
Is Arexvy an mRNA vaccine?
No, Arexvy is not an mRNA vaccine. Instead, it’s a type of vaccine called a recombinant vaccine. It contains a lab-made copy of a protein subunit of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This protein triggers an immune response that protects you from future RSV infections.
mRNA vaccines are a different type of vaccine. Instead of containing a particular protein from a bacteria or virus, they contain a lab-made fragment of mRNA (a type of genetic material). The mRNA instructs cells in your body to make a particular protein from a bacteria or virus. As with recombinant vaccines, the protein triggers an immune response that protects you from future infections with that bacteria or virus.
Drug companies are developing mRNA vaccines for RSV, but these are not yet available.
If you have questions about the different types of vaccines, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
How does Arexvy work? And how long does it take the vaccine to start working?
Arexvy is an RSV vaccine. It contains part of a key protein that RSV uses to infect cells in your body. Arexvy works by teaching your immune system to recognize this protein.
Arexvy is an adjuvanted vaccine. This means it contains an adjuvant, which is an ingredient added to help the vaccine work better.
When you receive Arexvy, your immune system makes antibodies to help fight against the RSV protein in the vaccine. These antibodies stay in your body. If you’re exposed to RSV in the future, these antibodies help your immune system attack the virus. This helps prevent RSV from causing severe lung disease, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
After receiving a dose of Arexvy, it typically takes about 2 weeks for your body to produce enough antibodies to protect you from RSV.
If you have questions about how Arexvy works, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Can Arexvy cause long-term side effects?
Arexvy isn’t known to cause any long-term side effects. No long-term side effects were reported in
Arexvy’s side effects tend to be mild and usually improve in a couple of days.
If you’re concerned about long-term side effects with Arexvy, talk with your doctor.
As with all medications, the cost of Arexvy can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan and where you receive the vaccine.
Financial and insurance assistance. If you need financial support to pay for Arexvy or help to understand your insurance coverage, help is available.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
Generic version. Arexvy is not available in a generic form. A generic vaccine is an exact copy of a brand-name vaccine. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name vaccines.
The following information describes the dosage that is commonly used or recommended.
Arexvy comes as a solution for injection in a single-dose vial. A healthcare professional will administer the vaccine by intramuscular injection. You’ll usually receive the injection in your upper arm.
Dosage for prevention of lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Arexvy is given as a single dose of 0.5 milliliters (mL).
Arexvy can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur after receiving Arexvy. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Arexvy, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) track side effects of vaccines. If you’d like to notify the FDA and CDC about a side effect you’ve had after receiving Arexvy, you can do so through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Mild side effects
Below is a partial list of mild side effects of Arexvy. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Arexvy’s
Mild side effects of Arexvy can include:
- pain, swelling, redness, or discoloration at the injection site
- aching muscles or joints
- mild allergic reaction*
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* For more information about allergic reaction and Arexvy, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Arexvy aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Serious side effects from Arexvy can include a severe allergic reaction. See just below to learn more about this.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- trouble breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Arexvy, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Arexvy to treat certain conditions.
Arexvy for prevention of lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Arexvy is FDA-approved to help prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV in adults ages 60 years and older.
RSV is a common virus that can infect the respiratory system. It usually causes mild symptoms, similar to the common cold. But in some people, it can affect the lower respiratory tract (large airways and lungs) and cause severe diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
Lower respiratory tract disease can cause severe symptoms that may need treatment in hospital. These include fever, cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Older adults have a higher risk of severe illness with an RSV infection.
Arexvy is an RSV vaccine that helps prevent severe illness caused by RSV in older adults.
However, this doesn’t mean that interactions won’t be recognized in the future. For example, new drugs could be approved that interact with Arexvy.
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 drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you can become pregnant, consider the following information about pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Arexvy and pregnancy
It’s not known whether Arexvy should be taken during pregnancy. The vaccine isn’t approved for people under 60 years old. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before receiving this vaccine.
Arexvy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether Arexvy should be taken while breastfeeding. The vaccine isn’t approved for people under 60 years old. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before receiving this vaccine.
This vaccine comes with some precautions.
Before taking Arexvy, discuss your health history with your doctor. Arexvy may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. Be sure to talk with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- weakened immune system
- previous allergic reaction to this or a similar vaccine
Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Arexvy, see the “Arexvy side effects” section above.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.