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Hepatitis B adult vaccine

Generic name: hepatitis B adult vaccine [ HEP-a-TYE-tis-B-a-DULT-VAX-een ]
Brand names: Engerix-B (HepB), Heplisav-B, PreHevbrio, Recombivax HB Adult, Recombivax HB Dialysis Formulation
Dosage forms: intramuscular solution (20 mcg/0.5 mL), intramuscular suspension (10 mcg/mL; 20 mcg/mL; dialysis 40 mcg/mL; recombinant 10 mcg/mL)
Drug class: Viral vaccines

Medically reviewed by on Jul 20, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is hepatitis B vaccine?

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver that is spread through blood or bodily fluids, sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles with an infected person, or during childbirth when the mother is infected. Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.

The hepatitis B vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in adults.

This vaccine helps your body develop immunity to the disease, but will not treat an active infection you already have.

Vaccination with hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all adults who are at risk of getting hepatitis B. Like any vaccine, the hepatitis B vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

This vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, difficult breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Keep track of all side effects you have. If you need a booster dose, you will need to tell the vaccination provider if the previous shot caused any side effects.

Hepatitis B adult vaccine may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of hepatitis B adult vaccine may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1 800 822 7967.


Becoming infected with Hepatitis B is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine.

You should not receive another dose of this vaccine if you had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

Before taking this medicine

Hepatitis B vaccine will not protect against infection with hepatitis A, C, and E, or other viruses that affect the liver. It may also not protect against hepatitis B if you are already infected with the virus, even if you do not yet show symptoms.

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing hepatitis B.

Tell your doctor or vaccination provider if you have or have ever had:

This vaccine may need to be postponed or not given at all if you have:

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of this vaccine on the baby.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

The hepatitis B vaccine is given in a series of 2 to 4 shots. The subsequent shots are usually given 1 month and 6 months after the first shot.

Your individual vaccination schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

Be sure to receive all recommended doses of this vaccine, or you may not be fully protected against disease.

This vaccine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you if you recently received the hepatitis B vaccine.

Hepatitis B adult vaccine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Hepatitis B Prophylaxis:

Primary Vaccination:

19 years and younger: Three doses (0.5 mL each) intramuscularly on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule
20 years and older: Three doses (1 mL each) intramuscularly on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule

Heplisav-B(R): Two doses (0.5 mL each) intramuscularly one month apart

19 years and younger: Three doses (0.5 mL each) intramuscularly on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule (use pediatric/adolescent formulation)
20 years and older: Three doses (1 mL each) intramuscularly on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule (use adult formulation)

Known or Presumed Hepatitis B Exposure:

Engerix-B(R) : Use recommended doses of (above) on a 0, 1, and 6 month schedule OR a 0, 1, 2, and 12 month schedule.
Recombivax-HB(R): Refer to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

-Administer hepatitis B immune globulin if appropriate.
-Start hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after exposure.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your vaccination provider if you miss a dose or if you get behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

Follow your vaccination provider's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

What other drugs will affect hepatitis B vaccine?

Before receiving this vaccine, tell your vaccination provider about all other vaccines you have recently received.

Other drugs may affect this vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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