Hepatitis B vaccine (Injection)
Hepatitis B Vaccine (hep-a-TYE-tis B VAX-een)
Prevents infection caused by hepatitis B virus.
Engerix-B, Engerix-B Pediatric, Recombivax HB Pediatric-Adolescent, Recombivax HB Pediatric/Adolescent, Recombivax HB
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You or your child should not receive this vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to any type of hepatitis B vaccine, or if you are allergic to yeast.
How to Use This Medicine
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot into one of your muscles.
- If you have bleeding problems (such as hemophilia), the vaccine may be given as a shot under your skin.
- This vaccine is usually given as 3 doses. After the first dose, two more doses are given 1 month and 6 months after the first dose, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
If a dose is missed:
- It is important that you or your child receive all three doses at the right time. If you miss your scheduled shot, call your doctor to make another appointment as soon as possible.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using medicines that weaken your immune system, such as a steroid or cancer medicine. Tell your doctor if you are using a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you or your child have a bleeding problem (such as hemophilia), multiple sclerosis, a weak immune system from a disease or medicine, or a severe illness with a fever.
- This vaccine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have a rash, itching, swelling of the tongue and throat, or trouble breathing after you get the injection.
- Tell your doctor if you or your child are allergic to latex. The needle cover and the rubber plunger of the prefilled syringe contain dry natural latex rubber, which may cause an allergic reaction in people with a latex allergy.
- This vaccine may not protect you against hepatitis B infection if you are already infected with the virus at the time you receive the shot.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
- Fast or pounding heartbeat.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach.
- Headache or dizziness.
- Mild skin rash or itching.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Pain, redness, swelling, itching, bruising, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013