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-A/HEPATITIS-B VACCINE - INJECTION
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Twinrix
USES: This combination vaccine is used to help prevent infection from the hepatitis A and B viruses. Hepatitis A infection can be mild with no symptoms or a severe illness that can rarely cause liver failure and death. Hepatitis B infection can cause serious problems including liver failure, persistent hepatitis B infection, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Preventing infection with these viruses can prevent these problems.
Hepatitis A/hepatitis B combination vaccine is made from whole, killed hepatitis A virus and a genetically engineered (man-made in the laboratory) piece of hepatitis B virus. It does not contain live virus, so you can not 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 A and hepatitis B. This combination vaccine does not protect you from other virus infections (such as HIV virus which causes AIDS, hepatitis C/ hepatitis E, HPV virus which causes genital warts and other problems).
The vaccine is recommended for people at an increased risk of getting these infections. 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 or active hepatitis A 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 professional before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, ask your health care professional.
This vaccine is usually given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. Adults and children usually receive the injection in the upper arm, and infants receive it in the upper thigh.
A series of 3 injections is usually given over 6 months. Your doctor will give you a vaccination schedule, which must be followed 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.
Dosage is based on your age. Different brands of hepatitis A/hepatitis B vaccine are available for different ages and may be given differently.
For people who cannot get the vaccine before traveling or for whom the vaccine might not work, your doctor may also give an injection of immune globulin. Immune globulin contains antibodies against the viruses and will immediately help protect you from developing an infection. However, these antibodies last only a few months. For proper protection, it is important to carefully follow your vaccination schedule.
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