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Hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine (Intramuscular)

Generic name: hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine [ hep-a-TYE-tis-A-VAX-een, in-AK-ti-vay-ted, hep-a-TYE-tis-B-VAX-een-re-KOM-bin-ant ]
Brand name: Twinrix
Drug class: Vaccine combinations

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 17, 2023.

Uses for hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B combination vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by all known subtypes of the hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus. The vaccine works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the disease.

Hepatitis A is a serious disease of the liver that can cause death. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), and is spread most often through infected food or water. Hepatitis A may also be spread by close person-to-person contact with infected persons (such as between persons living in the same household). Although some infected persons do not appear to be sick, they are still able to spread the virus to others.

Hepatitis A is less common in the U.S. and other areas of the world that have a higher level of sanitation and good water and sewage (waste) systems. However, it is a significant health problem in parts of the world that do not have such systems. If you are traveling to certain countries or remote (out-of-the-way) areas, hepatitis A vaccine will help protect you from hepatitis A disease.

Hepatitis B is caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV), and is spread by contact with body fluids, such as blood, saliva, semen, or vaginal fluids; by needle sticks or sharing needles; or from mother to child.

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B combination vaccine is recommended for all persons 18 years of age or older who are at risk from infection from their jobs or some behaviors, or from traveling to the following parts of the world:

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B combination vaccine is also recommended for:

This vaccine is to be given only by or under the supervision of a doctor.

Before using hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine

In deciding to use a vaccine, the risks of taking the vaccine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this vaccine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of hepatitis A and hepatitis B combination vaccine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of hepatitis A and hepatitis B combination vaccine have not been performed in the geriatric population. However, no geriatric-specific problems have been documented to date.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this vaccine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Receiving this vaccine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper use of hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this vaccine. This vaccine is given as a shot into one of your muscles, usually in the deltoid area (shoulder or upper arm).

This vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 doses. The first 2 doses are given at least 1 month (for patients receiving 3 doses) or 7 days apart (for patients receiving 4 doses). The third dose is given at least 6 months (for patients receiving 3 doses) or 21 to 30 days (for patients receiving 4 doses) after the first dose. The booster dose is given at least 12 months (for patients receiving 4 doses) after the first dose. To get the best possible protection against infection with the HAV or HBV, you should complete your vaccine dosing schedule.

Precautions while using hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine

It is important that your doctor check your progress to make sure this vaccine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Fainting may occur after you receive this vaccine. Your doctor may want you to be observed after you get the injection to prevent and manage fainting.

This vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it. This vaccine will not treat symptoms of hepatitis A or hepatitis B infection if you already have the disease. It is very important to take precautions to reduce the risk of hepatitis A or hepatitis B infection.

Side Effects of hepatitis a and hepatitis b vaccine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

Rare

Incidence not known

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Rare

Incidence not known

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

In Canada

Available Dosage Forms:

Therapeutic Class: Vaccine

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.