Can the Gardasil HPV Vaccine Cause POTS?

Yes. A growing body of medical research suggests a link between Gardasil and POTS. While warnings about a causal link between Merck’s HPV vaccine and POTS has not been issued, studies have found the Gardasil vaccine side effects may be associated with a nearly two-fold increased risk of POTS.

Gardasil’s main active ingredient is an adjuvant known as Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS), which is an aluminum blend added to the HPV vaccine to help it work better. Adjuvants such as aluminum are sometimes added to vaccines to boost the body’s immune response, so that protection against disease is stronger and lasts longer.

However, Merck & Co. used a proprietary blend of aluminum (AAHS) consisting of L-histidine, polysorbate-80, sodium borate and sodium chloride, which was introduced without any prelicensure safety evaluation before being used on children.

Multiple peer reviewed medical journals have published studies that suggest this aluminum adjuvant used in Gardasil may cause the immune system to lose its ability to differentiate from human proteins and foreign proteins, causing adverse reactions and an unintended attack on the body’s own proteins and organs. As a result, side effects of Gardasil may cause POTS and a variety of autoimmune disorders diagnosed years later. 

In a study published the medical journal Vaccines & Autoimmunity in 2015, researchers stated adjuvants such as AAHS used in Gardasil are responsible for post-vaccination autoimmune diseases such as POTS. The study indicates the aluminum used in Gardasil’s proprietary blend of AAHS adjuvants boosts a harmful immunological response to recipients.

In a review of Gardasil’s immune response booster published in The European Journal of Neurology in 2013, Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn stated;

“Awareness that POTS may occur after (HPV) vaccination in young women is essential for prompt and effective management of this condition”

Gardasil 4 vs Gardasil 9 POTS Risk

Merck has released two Gardasil vaccines since 2006. Since the launch of the vaccine, there have been tens of millions of HPV vaccine doses distributed.

  • Gardasil 4: Administered between 2006 – May 2017
  • Gardasil 9: Administered between December 2014 – Present

Merck abandoned Gardasil 4 for Gardasil 9 over claims of its ability to better prevent cervical cancer and additional carcinogenic strains of human papillomavirus. However, some experts warn Gardasil 9 doubles a patient’s risk of developing POTS compared to Gardasil 4, due to the elevated levels of the undisclosed aluminum ingredients used as an adjuvant.

While Gardasil 4 contains 225 micrograms of aluminum adjuvants, the Gardasil 9 vaccine contains 500 micrograms of aluminum, adding more than double the amount of active ingredients that may cause POTS.

Levels of Aluminum Adjuvants Used In Gardasil Vaccines

In fact, clinical trial data comparing both versions of the vaccine found Gardasil 9 caused more adverse events in patients than those reported in relation to Gardasil 4.

Learn More About Gardasil POTS Lawsuits

Merck Concealed Gardasil POTS Risks

Gardasil lawsuits are being pursued against Merck over the company’s deceptively designed clinical trials, which obscured an accurate assessment of safety and masked the risk of developing autonomic disorders such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

These claims of Merck’s deceptive actions came to light in 2013, after a study published in the The BMJ found the adjuvants such as Amorphous Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate Sulfate (AAHS) and HPV LI-DNA fragments were administered to Gardasil’s control group in clinical trials, which are the same neurotoxins used in Gardasil suspected of causing dysautonomia conditions, including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), orthostatic intolerance and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Merck is alleged to have intentionally broken the pharmaceutical industry’s gold standard of testing, which requires one group to receive the experimental drug (Gardasil), and the other to receive an inactive substance, such as a saline solution (salt water). Therefore, by giving the control group the same amount of potential neurotoxins as the group of participants receiving the Gardasil human papillomavirus vaccination, Merck was able to claim Gardasil was safe.

Critiques of the Gardasil HPV vaccine clinical trials also claim Merck failed to report upward of 21% of the results of clinical trial results and excluded participants with a history of nervous system disorders, which could have exacerbated symptoms resulting in POTS from Gardasil.

Reviews of Merck’s few published clinical trials involving Gardasil raise concerns about how adverse events were categorized and presented to officials. In a review of clinical studies, experts found 49% of trial participants receiving the spiked placebo or Gardasil reported side effects including autoimmune conditions, neurological symptoms, infections and reproductive disorders.

Gardasil Long Term Side Effects

According to reports submitted by families nationwide, Gardasil side effects have been linked to a number of health problems, including:

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  • Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Premature Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
  • Irregular Heartbeat/Tachycardia
  • Lupus
  • Neurologic Disorder
  • Brain Fog or Chronic Inability to Concentrate
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Severe Headaches
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve Damage
  • Menstrual Disorders/Problems
  • Gastrointestinal Issues (food intolerances, nausea, vomiting)

Studies Linking Gardasil and POTS

Multiple studies have been published that link the Gardasil and POTS. In these studies, experts outline how Gardasil contains the harmful aluminums and DNA fragments that can alter the normal function of the body’s autonomic system, leading to the development of multiple forms of dysautonomia, including Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Orthostatic Hypotension, Vasovagal Syncope, Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy, Baroreflex Failure, Familial Dysautonomia, Pure Autonomic Failure, and Multiple System Atrophy.

Study of POTS onset after HPV Vaccination

In a study published in The European Journal of Neurology in 2013, researchers reviewed medical records for six patients who developed new symptoms of POTS within 6 days to 2 months after receiving the Gardasil injection.

Three patients developed neurocardiogenic syncope, which is a fainting spell that occurs when the body overreacts to certain triggers, and the other three developed small fiber neuropathy, which is the unusual sensations such as pins-and-needles, pricks, tingling and numbness. Both of these conditions are symptoms of POTS.

Researchers reviewed pre-existing medical conditions for risks of developing the ANS deregulation systems outside of AAHS exposure from the HPV vaccination . The study found the likely cause of the symptom onset was due to molecular mimicry, which has been identified as a trigger for autoimmune conditions such as POTS to develop.

“Awareness that POTS may occur after (HPV) vaccination in young women is essential for prompt and effective management of this condition”, the authors said in conclusion to their study.

Gardasil and POTS Case Study: 2024

In a recent case study published in by, a team of researchers at Rocky Vista University in Utah presented a case study concerning a 42-year-old woman who developed Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) after receiving the Gardasil vaccine in 2014.

The woman, previously diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a condition often characterized by hypermobility, experienced a rapid onset of POTS symptoms days following her Gardasil HPV vaccination. These symptoms included syncope, a condition leading to fainting spells, and tachycardia, an unusually fast heart rate.

According to the researchers, she now experiences up to 20 episodes of POTS symptoms daily since receiving the Gardasil vaccine. The researchers stated;

“Adverse symptoms of POTS following the Gardasil 4 vaccine has had a severe impact on the patient’s daily life. The patient claimed she went from a very sociable person to an introvert.”

This severe side effect dictates that providers need to be aware of this strong association of HPV vaccinations and POTS.

Gardasil Mast Cell Activation Causing POTS

In a new study published in the medical journal Vaccines in January 2022, researchers identified the active ingredients in the Gardasil human papillomavirus vaccination may trigger or exacerbate mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).

The study warns MCAS causes disruption of normal mast cell counts in organs and around the body. When these mast cells are out of normal range and overactive they release chemicals such as histamine. This results in a variety of gastrointestinal tract, heart, respiratory, and neurologic systems that align with the onset of POTS. Researchers further stated;

Gardasil may have caused pre-existing MCAS to worsen to a clinically significantly degree, with the emergence of POTS and other issues

Authors advised the medical community that individuals about to receive the human papillomavirus vaccination should be screened for undiagnosed MCAS should be screened to identify populations at a higher risk of Gardasil-associated POTS.

Gardasil Vaccination Linked to Nerve Disorders

A systemic review of Gardasil clinical trials published in February 2020, found that Gardasil increased serious nervous system disorders while only showing moderate effectiveness at decreasing human papillomavirus related cancer precursors and treatment procedures. Specifically, the authors identified;

Gardasil was associated with a nearly two-fold increased risk of POTS and other autoimmune disorders.

Researchers stated the Gardasil trials were primarily designed to assess benefits and were not adequately designed to assess harms and that the extent to which the HPV vaccines’ benefits outweigh their harms is unclear.

Gardasil Aluminums Promote Autoimmune Diseases

In a study published in Vaccines & Autoimmunity in 2015, researchers stated adjuvants such as AAHS used in Gardasil are responsible for post-vaccination autoimmune diseases such as POTS. The study indicates the aluminum used in Gardasil’s proprietary blend of AAHS adjuvants boosts a harmful immunological response to recipients.

Gardasil and POTS FAQs

What is POTS?

POTS is an acronym for “Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome” which is a type of dysautonomia, an autonomic nervous system (ANS) disorder. A Gardasil POTS diagnosis results in disruption of the autonomic nervous system’s regulation of many vital bodily functions including heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. POTS causes these unconscious normal bodily functions to become overactive causing an increase in an individual’s heart rate.

It is common for individuals living with POTS from a Gardasil vaccine to have a sudden increase or drop in blood pressure when they stand up. These sudden changes are often due to low blood volume or high levels of plasma norepinephrine caused by an increased sympathetic nervous system activation stemming from POTS.

For adults, the current diagnostic criteria for POTS is a heart rate increase of 30 beats per minute (bpm) or more, and/or over 120 bpm within the first 10 minutes after standing. The diagnostic criteria for POTS in children is classified by a 40 bpm or more increase.

Diagram of blood pressure and heart rate changes from POTS

What are the symptoms of POTS from a Gardasil Vaccine?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) causes a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, which can result in a life-long series of conditions. Gardasil POTS side effects may lead to more serious problems like an abnormally high heart rate.

Some of the most common symptoms reported by individuals living with POTS from a Gardasil vaccine include;

    • Dimming of vision
    • Muffled sounds in her ears
    • Fainting or near collapse
    • Lightheadedness
    • Clamminess
    • Heat sensitivity
    • Fatigue
    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal pain

How is POTS Diagnosed?

A postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) diagnosis often requires a physical exam, bloodwork, cardiovascular testing and/or a 10-minute standing test or a head-up tilt table test. The condition can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can affect a wide range of organ systems. In most instances, Gardasil POTS symptoms may have been present for months before the diagnosis is made.

Tilt Table Test for POTS

A tilt table test for POTS is a medical procedure used to diagnose problems with the autonomic nervous system. The test is used to evaluate how well the body regulates blood pressure and heart rate when moving from a lying down to a standing position. Blood oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide levels may also be measured during the test.

During a tilt table test, a patient will lay on a table that is tilted from horizontal to approximately 70 degrees over a short duration of time. A POTS diagnosis may be reached if an individual develops an abnormal heart rate, a drop in blood pressure and worsened symptoms that may include fainting, sweating, hot flashes or abdominal pain or nausea.

Tilt Table test to diagnose POTS

10-Minute Standing Test for pots

People showing symptoms of POTS after a Gardasil HPV vaccination may be given a 10-minute standing test. The test is used to compare heart rate and blood pressure measurements from a lying down and standing position.

For the test, a doctor will take heart rate and blood pressure measurements for a baseline. A patient will then stand up from the lying down position and a doctor will take the same measurements every two or three minutes until 10 minutes has passed. The results from the baseline readings will then be compared to reach a diagnosis.

Is POTS curable?

There is no cure for POTS, but there are treatments that can help to improve symptoms that include a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Some lifestyle changes that may be recommended include increasing salt intake, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and physical therapy or exercising regularly to increase strength and endurance.

Medications commonly used to treat POTS include salt tablets to increase circulatory blood volume, fludrocortisone to reduce help the kidneys retain sodium, pyridostigmine to improve standing blood pressure, midodrine to improve blood vessel restriction, and beta blockers to reduce heart rate and adrenal hormones. In severe cases, patients may need to use support stockings or have a pacemaker implanted.

How many people have developed POTS after Gardasil HPV vaccination?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received over 400 reports of individuals who received the Gardasil human papillomavirus vaccination and developed postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

However, it is widely acknowledged that the rate of problems reported to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) typically only include a small fraction of all vaccination side effects experienced.  Therefore, it is believed that these cases represent only about 1%-10% of all Gardasil POTS cases experienced

In many cases, a Gardasil POTS injury may also be misdiagnosed with conditions that have similar symptoms or conditions that cause forms of orthostatic intolerance. Studies have shown POTS is frequently misdiagnosed as anxiety, panic attacks, vaso-vagal syncope, chronic fatigue syndrome, or inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

What to do if my child develops POTS after the Gardasil vaccination?

If your child develops symptoms of POTS after the Gardasil injection you should seek immediate medical assistance. Children who develop these symptoms could be at increased risk of serious injury or possible fatal injuries or conditions caused by increased risk of fainting, high/low blood pressure, and high/low heart rate, among other adverse health consequences.

It is important to keep a detailed timeline of when your child’s symptoms began in proximity to receiving a Gardasil vaccination and report them to their doctor, as these symptoms can worsen if lifestyle or medication interventions are not pursued quickly.

Below is a quick reference for parents to identify if their child may be experiencing Gardasil-induced-POTS, which is a form of dysautonomia that disrupts the autonomic nervous system.

Common Symptoms of Autonomic Dysfunction

How to File a Gardasil POTS Lawsuit

To receive compensation for an injury caused by Gardasil, you must pursue your lawsuit through the Vaccine Court, by filing a claim with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The Vaccine Court is a no-fault process designed to provide awards for vaccination injuries, paying settlement awards from a VICP compensation fund, which is funded by a $.75 excise tax on all vaccines recommended by the CDC for routine administration to children.

After filing a Gardasil Vaccine Court lawsuit, the U.S. DHHS will review the petition and determine whether your claim meets the criteria for compensation. From there, the U.S. Department of Justice submits a recommendation to the court and a Special Master is appointed to hold hearings in which both parties can present evidence. If compensation is awarded, the special master determines the amount and type of compensation.

Once a Vaccine Court award is issued, each claimant has the option of accepting the settlement or rejecting the judgment and filing a Gardasil lawsuit against Merck.

Do I need a lawyer to file a Gardasil lawsuit?

While you do not need a lawyer to file a claim in the Vaccine Court, we highly recommend contacting an experienced vaccine injury lawyer to represent you and help evaluate your options for filing a Gardasil POTS lawsuit. There are strict filing rules and deadlines when filing a petition in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and having experienced trial lawyers on your side will maximize your recovery amount.

Gardasil POTS Settlement Attorneys

As a result of Merck’s intentional misrepresentation of the HPV vaccine safety profile, thousands of individuals have experienced devastating side effects and many are now pursuing Gardasil settlements alleging that Merck deceptively designed its clinical trials to hide apparent side effects and exaggerate the efficacy of the HPV vaccine.

Our personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys are pursuing Gardasil lawsuits for individuals who developed side effects after receiving Merck’s human papillomavirus vaccination. Settlements for your injuries or loss of a loved one may be available. Contact a Gardasil POTS lawyer today for a free case evaluation.