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Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombivax HB) Side Effects & Dosage

What is hepatitis b vaccine-injection, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Hepatitis B vaccines (Recombivax HB, Engerix-B) are
used to prevent hepatitis B infection, a serious liver infection caused by the
hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Hepatitis B is easily spread through contact with blood or other fluids of an
infected person. People may also become infected from touching or coming into
contact with a contaminated object. The hepatitis B virus can live on surfaces
for up to 7 days. Some ways that people may become infected include:

  • Transmission during birth from an infected
    mother to her newborn
  • Contact with blood or other body fluids
    though breaks in the skin such as bites, cuts, or sores
  • Contact with objects that have blood or body
    fluids on them such as razors or toothbrushes that may themselves come into
    contact with other person's blood
  • Having unprotected sex with an infected
  • Sharing needles used to inject illicit drugs
  • Getting stuck with a previously used needle
    that is contaminated

Hepatitis B can cause an acute (short term) illness, with symptoms that

Getting vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus is the best way to prevent
these problems. Hepatitis B vaccines are made from noninfectious parts of HBV
using recombinant DNA technology. The vaccines are sterile preparations for
intramuscular injection and contain purified inactive proteins from the surface
of HBV. The proteins can activate the immune system but cannot give rise to a
replicating virus. Viral proteins used in HBV vaccines are manufactured in yeast
cells (S. cerevisiae) using recombinant technology. Hepatitis B vaccines work by
stimulating the immune system to attack the viral proteins. When a hepatitis B
vaccine is administered, the body's immune system recognizes the viral proteins
in the vaccine as foreign, and develops antibodies against them, thus providing
immunity from future infections. In the event of HBV exposure following
vaccination, the body will already be primed to fight the infection.

The FDA approved the first HBV vaccine in 1983.

What brand names are available for hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

Recombivax HB, Engerix-B

Is hepatitis b vaccine-injection available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for hepatitis b vaccine-injection?


What are the uses for hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

Hepatitis B vaccine is used to prevent hepatitis B, a serious infection
that affects the liver.

Most children are given their first shot at birth, followed by a 2nd shot at
1-2 months of age, and a 3rd shot at 6-18 months of age. Also, anyone who is 18
years of age or younger and hasn't received the vaccine should be vaccinated.

Additionally, all unvaccinated adults at risk for
hepatitis B infection
should be vaccinated. This includes:

  • Partners or people infected with hepatitis B
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject street drugs
  • People with more than one sex partner
  • People with chronic liver or kidney disease
  • People under the age of 60 who have

    type 1 or 2 diabetes

  • People with jobs that expose them to human
    blood or other body fluids
  • People who live with a family member infected
    with hepatitis B
  • Kidney dialysis patients
  • People who travel to countries where
    hepatitis B is common
  • People with
    HIV infection
  • People who live or work in institution for
    the developmentally disabled
  • Anyone else who wishes to be protected from
    the hepatitis B infection

What are the side effects of hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

Common side effects of HBV vaccines include:

Other reported side effects include:

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What is the dosage for hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

  • Dosing for children and adolescents is 3 doses of 0.5 mL given on 0, 1, and 6
    month schedule.
  • The dose for adults is 3 doses of 1 ml given on 0, 1, and 6
    month schedule.

Which drugs or supplements interact with hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

Patients with a weak immune system may not
fully benefit from the hepatitis B vaccine.

Is hepatitis b vaccine-injection safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate or well-controlled trials of hepatitis B vaccine use in
    pregnant women. Therefore, hepatitis B vaccine should be used during pregnancy
    only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
  • It is not known if the hepatitis B vaccine is excreted into human milk after
    administration to the mother. The manufacturer recommends caution when given to
    nursing mothers.

What else should I know about hepatitis b vaccine-injection?

What preparations of hepatitis b vaccine-injection are available?

  • Suspension for injection in single does vials and syringes: Recombivax 0.5 ml
    (5 mcg), 1 ml (10 mcg); Engerix-B 0.5 ml (10 mcg), 1 ml (20 mcg).
How should I keep hepatitis b vaccine-injection stored?

Hepatitis B vaccine should be stored in the refrigerator, between
2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F).


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