Hepatitis a vaccine

Generic Name: hepatitis a vaccine (hep-ah-TY-tiss)
Brand Name: Havrix

Hepatitis a vaccine is used for:

Preventing hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis a vaccine is a vaccine. It works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies against hepatitis A infection.

Do NOT use hepatitis a vaccine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in hepatitis a vaccine, including neomycin
  • you have had a severe allergic reaction (eg, rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness of the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) to a previous hepatitis A vaccine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using hepatitis a vaccine:

Some medical conditions may interact with hepatitis a vaccine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you are allergic to latex or dry natural rubber
  • if you have a weakened immune system, fever, infection, or other illness
  • if you have a bleeding disorder
  • if you take an anticoagulant (eg, warfarin) or medicine that suppresses your immune system (eg, cyclosporine)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with hepatitis a vaccine. However, no specific interactions with hepatitis a vaccine are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if hepatitis a vaccine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use hepatitis a vaccine:

Use hepatitis a vaccine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Hepatitis a vaccine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using hepatitis a vaccine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use hepatitis a vaccine. Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Shake well before each use.
  • If you miss a dose of hepatitis a vaccine, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use hepatitis a vaccine.

Important safety information:

  • It may take at least 2 weeks before hepatitis a vaccine will protect you from hepatitis A. A booster dose is recommended 6 to 12 months later for more complete protection.
  • Travelers to areas where hepatitis A virus is common should take all necessary precautions to avoid contact with hepatitis A virus (eg, contaminated food and water). Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for specific travel destination information.
  • Tell your doctor if you have recently received a vaccine or are scheduled to receive a vaccine.
  • Hepatitis a vaccine should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 12 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using hepatitis a vaccine while you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use hepatitis a vaccine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of hepatitis a vaccine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; loss of appetite; mild fever; nausea; redness, soreness, swelling, or warmth at the injection site; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; fainting; seizures; shortness of breath; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or severe muscle weakness; vision changes; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of hepatitis a vaccine:

Hepatitis a vaccine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using hepatitis a vaccine at home, store hepatitis a vaccine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep hepatitis a vaccine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about hepatitis a vaccine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Hepatitis a vaccine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take hepatitis a vaccine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about hepatitis a vaccine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to hepatitis a vaccine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using hepatitis a vaccine.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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