Blog Post

Gardasil and Possible Vaccine Complications

The Greenwood Law Firm Jan. 24, 2022

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a sexually transmitted disease with over three million reported cases per year in the United States. Although most individuals infected with HPV are asymptomatic, stubborn infections can yield complications, including itchiness, genital warts, and multiple forms of cancer.

Unfortunately, no known cure exists for HPV; thus, a vaccine is the best method of avoiding it. However, there are rare cases where the HPV vaccine can cause disorders, diseases, or medical complications. If so, filing a claim in the National Vaccine Compensation Injury Program is a person’s remedy to obtain compensation to offset the costs and pain and suffering associated with such conditions or complications.

What Conditions May Be Linked to Gardasil?

Statistically, the Gardasil vaccine appears effective to prevent HPV. However, there are studies, epedimiological data, medical research, and court cases suggesting that the Gardasil vaccine may lead to certain illnesses, conditions, or complications.

Although not common, Gardasil has been associated with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Guillain Barré Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, vitiligo, arthritis (autoimmune), and new daily persistent headache. Although the most severe post-vaccination conditions are infrequent, it is vital to be attentive to any symptoms so those affected may seek medical and legal remedies as soon as possible.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is a condition characterized by fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. POTS affects over 200,000 people per year and can diminish individuals' quality of life by interrupting their ability to work, focus, and undergo routine tasks without substantial discomfort. While there is no definitive basis for declaring that Gardasil causes POTS, numerous studies suggest there is an association between the Gardasil vaccine and POTS.

One case study isolated consequences of POTS and CRPS (a condition of chronic limb pain) following vaccination, "[s]ome case studies have reported rare neurological harms such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) [26, 27] and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) [28]." (Jørgensen, Gøtzsche, and Jefferson 2020, pp.2).

Other studies find causal relation in more precise details, such as with correlation in ages vaccinated, "[i]ncidence of POTS is highest in teens and young adults, an age range when individuals are recommended to receive the HPV vaccination series (11–26 years old).” [1,2]. This might increase the likelihood of POTS symptom onset shortly following HPV vaccination by chance alone. Or, it may speak to an association between POTS and the Gardasil vaccine. Furthermore, public and health- care provider awareness of the alleged association between HPV vaccination and POTS and the resulting potential for stimulated reporting of POTS cases to public health authorities might contribute to the appearance of an increase in disease occurrence and an apparent temporal association with HPV vaccination." (Arana et al. 2017, pp. 581).

An injured party must prove more than a mere temporal association between the vaccine and POTS. Filing a claim in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is where this is done.

Guillain Barré Syndrome

Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS) is a condition wherein one's immune system attacks their nerves, causing debilitating effects such as weakness, severe pain, and paralysis. As a direct result of HPV vaccination, GBS is very rare, and their connection is not wholly conclusive; however, multiple sources suggest an association between the two may exist.

Many cases exist in the National Vaccine Compensation Injury Program alleging that vaccines cause GBS. Many are successful. In 2015, the court decided a case affirming the causal connection between Gardasil and GBS. In that case, the court awarded the injured party $1,405,466.39.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by abnormal deterioration of bodily function due to the immune system mistakenly attacking its own cells. Although there is no conclusive basis for declaring that Gardasil vaccination causes MS, accredited sources suggest that there is a possible association between HPV vaccination and demyelinating diseases like MS.

A woman, previously unaffected by any inflammation, autoimmune disease, or infection, developed multiple symptoms of a demyelinating disease two weeks after her HPV vaccination. An expert testified that her conditions resembled such a demyelinating disorder, most likely MS, and that more likely than not, the Gardasil vaccine caused it. She received $1,473,004.35.


Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin condition characterized by the destruction of pigmentation in patches of skin, causing white-colored hair and skin in various parts of the body. While there is no absolute basis for declaring that vaccination causes vitiligo, many accredited sources claim there is an association between HPV vaccination and vitiligo.

Studies indicate that factors such as vaccine-induced skin trauma and accompanied inflammatory effects have been associated with risk for vitiligo. Vaccine-induced vitiligo is associated with local inflammatory responses initiated by some form of trauma within the skin (Matz and Tur 2007, pp. 80).

Additionally, the vaccine court has found a connection between vitiligo and Gardasil vaccination. A case filed in October 2019 resulted in a settlement of $38,696.72.

Arthritis (Autoimmune)

Arthritis (autoimmune) is a chronic disease primarily characterized by degeneration, swelling, and pain in the joints. Many forms of autoimmune arthritis exist – including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, and juvenile arthritis, all of which are highly destructive to the joints of those affected. Studies suggest that, although cases are rare, a potential connection between vaccination and various forms of autoimmune arthritis very much does exist.

The courts found that two forms of autoimmune arthritis (Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) were linked to Gardasil. In one case, the Petitioner received $1,274,658.50.

New Daily Persistent Headache

New daily persistent headache (NDPH) is a primary headache disorder characterized by constant headaches that continue and frequently reoccur, usually happening multiple times per week. Comprehensive studies have found that Gardasil vaccination may be associated with precipitating factors that cause NDPH.

In a clinical analysis of NDPH, vaccination was seen as a possible factor, “[p]ossible inducing factors were flu, fever, and vaccination, all of which may associate with immune responses. (Miyahara et al. 2017, pp. 940)

The HPV vaccine has additionally been isolated as an independent triggering event of NDPH, “An intriguing issue about NDPH is its recognized triggering events of a flu-like illness, single stressful-life event and extracranial surgical procedure which have been noted in multiple studies. Newer triggers recently reported include withdrawal from SSRIs and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine” (Rozen 2016, pp. 165).

If you or your loved ones have been affected by any condition potentially stemming from Gardasil, please contact The Greenwood Law Firm for a free consultation.


Jørgensen L, Gøtzsche PC, Jefferson T. Benefits and harms of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines: comparison of trial data from clinical study reports with corresponding trial register entries and journal publications. Syst Rev. 2020 Feb 28;9(1):42. DOI: 10.1186/s13643-020-01300-1. PMID: 32106871; PMCID: PMC7047365.

Matz H, Tur E. Vitiligo. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2007;35:78-102. doi: 10.1159/000106412. PMID: 17641492.

Miyahara, J.; Sugiyama, H.; Yamakawa, K.; Kashiwaya, Y.; Kikui, S.; Ishizaki, K.; Danno, D.; Takeshima, T. (2017). Clinical analysis of new daily persistent headache (NDPH) in a Japanese 62 case series. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 381(), 940–. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2017.08.2646

Rozen, Todd D. (2016). Triggering Events and New Daily Persistent Headache: Age and Gender Differences and Insights on Pathogenesis-A Clinic-Based Study. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 56(1), 164–173. doi:10.1111/head.12707

Arana J, Mba-Jonas A, Jankosky C, Lewis P, Moro PL, Shimabukuro TT, Cano M. Reports of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome After Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. J Adolesc Health. 2017 Nov;61(5):577-582. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.08.004. PMID: 29061232.,cancer%20is%20caused%20by%20HPV.,of%20cases%20of%20cervical%20cancer.