Recombivax

RECOMBIVAX HB® Hepatitis B Vaccine
(Recombinant)

DRUG DESCRIPTION

RECOMBIVAX HB Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant) is a sterile suspension of non-infectious subunit viral vaccine derived from HBsAg produced in yeast cells. A portion of the hepatitis B virus gene, coding for HBsAg, is cloned into yeast, and the vaccine for hepatitis B is produced from cultures of this recombinant yeast strain according to methods developed in the Merck Research Laboratories.

The antigen is harvested and purified from fermentation cultures of a recombinant strain of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing the gene for the adw subtype of HBsAg. The fermentation process involves growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on a complex fermentation medium which consists of an extract of yeast, soy peptone, dextrose, amino acids and mineral salts. The HBsAg protein is released from the yeast cells by cell disruption and purified by a series of physical and chemical methods. The purified protein is treated in phosphate buffer with formaldehyde and then coprecipitated with alum (potassium aluminum sulfate) to form bulk vaccine adjuvanted with amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate. Each dose contains less than 1% yeast protein. The vaccine produced by the Merck method has been shown to be comparable to the plasma-derived vaccine in terms of animal potency (mouse, monkey, and chimpanzee) and protective efficacy (chimpanzee and human).

The vaccine against hepatitis B, prepared from recombinant yeast cultures, is free of association with human blood or blood products.

RECOMBIVAX HB Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant) is supplied in three formulations. [See HOW SUPPLIED/Storage and Handling]

Pediatric/Adolescent Formulation (Without Preservative), 10 mcg/mL: each 0.5 mL dose contains 5 mcg of hepatitis B surface antigen.

Adult Formulation (Without Preservative), 10 mcg/mL: each 1 mL dose contains 10 mcg of hepatitis B surface antigen.

Dialysis Formulation (Without Preservative), 40 mcg/mL: each 1 mL dose contains 40 mcg of hepatitis B surface antigen.

All formulations contain approximately 0.5 mg of aluminum (provided as amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, previously referred to as aluminum hydroxide) per mL of vaccine. In each formulation, hepatitis B surface antigen is adsorbed onto approximately 0.5 mg of aluminum (provided as amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate) per mL of vaccine. The vaccine contains < 15 mcg/Ml residual formaldehyde. The vaccine is of the adw subtype.

What are the precautions when taking hepatitis b vaccine (recombinant) (Recombivax)?

Before getting hepatitis B vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to yeast; or other vaccines; or if you have any other allergies. Some vials and prefilled syringes may use latex rubber stoppers or plungers. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding problems (such as hemophilia, low platelets, anticoagulant treatment), current illness with fever.

If you are a hemodialysis patient, you may not respond as well to the vaccine and will need to have hepatitis B antibody levels checked yearly. If...

Read All Potential Precautions of Recombivax »

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/2/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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