IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
HEPATITIS B VACCINE - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Engerix-B, Recombivax HB
USES: This medication is used to help prevent infection from the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B infection can cause serious problems including liver failure, persistent hepatitis B infection, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Preventing infection can prevent these problems.
Hepatitis B vaccine is a genetically engineered (man-made in the laboratory) piece of the virus. It does not contain live virus, so you cannot get hepatitis from the vaccine. This vaccine works by helping the body produce immunity (through antibody production) that will prevent you from getting infection from hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B vaccine does not protect you from other virus infections (such as HIV virus which causes AIDS; hepatitis A, hepatitis C or hepatitis E; HPV virus which causes genital warts and other problems).
The vaccine is recommended for people of all ages, especially those at an increased risk of getting the infection. Those at an increased risk include health care personnel, laboratory workers who handle blood and patient specimens, police, fire and emergency medical personnel who give first aid treatment, hemophiliacs, dialysis patients, people who live with or spend much time with people with persistent hepatitis B infections, people with multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men, sex workers, injection drug abusers, and people traveling to high-risk areas.
HOW TO USE: Read the Vaccine Information Statement available from your health care provider before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, consult your health care provider.
This vaccine is usually given by injection into a muscle (shoulder or thigh) by a health care professional. Injection under the skin may be used if you have a bleeding disorder.
A series of 2 to 4 injections is usually used over a 6- to 12-month period. Your doctor will give you a vaccination schedule, which you must follow closely for best effectiveness. If you have an illness with fever at the time a vaccination is scheduled, your doctor may choose to delay the injection until you are better.
The dosage and vaccination schedule is based on your age, medical condition, risk of hepatitis B exposure, and the brand of vaccine used.
If you are receiving the first hepatitis B vaccine injection at a time when your doctor feels you may have been exposed to hepatitis B, you will also receive an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG). HBIG is a dose of antibodies against the virus and will immediately help protect you from developing an infection. These antibodies only last a few months. For long-term protection, it is important to follow your vaccination schedule for the hepatitis B vaccine exactly.
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