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Hepatitis B virus vaccine intramusc.

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.


(hep-uh-TIE-tuss B vack-SEEN)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Engerix-B, Recombivax HB


This vaccine causes the body to produce protective levels of hepatitis B antibodies which will protect against infection from hepatitis B virus. This vaccine is recommended for persons of all ages, especially those at an increased risk of getting the infection. Those at an increased risk include health care personnel; laboratory workers handling blood and patient specimens; police, fire and emergency medical personnel who render first aid treatment; hemophiliacs; household and intimate contacts of persons with persistent hepatitis B infections; persons with multiple sex partners; homosexuals; prostitutes; IV drug abusers; persons traveling to high risk areas.

How To Use

This medication is given by a health care professional as an injection into the thigh or upper arm muscle. A schedule of three to four doses are usually given over a six to twelve month period. Your doctor will provide you with a vaccination schedule which must be followed closely in order to be most effective. If you have an infection at the time a vaccination is scheduled, your doctor may choose to delay the vaccination until you are better.

Side Effects

This medication may cause irritation, redness, swelling, warmth, itching, bruising or pain at the injection site. Other side effects include headache, weakness, fatigue, sore throat, fever, nausea, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, general body discomfort. If these symptoms continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience any of the following after vaccination with this medication: tingling of the hands or feet, trouble moving, stiffness, skin rash, difficulty breathing, chest pain, vision problems. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor if you have: other infections, heart disease, lung disease, allergies (especially to yeast). This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you use, especially of: corticosteroids, cyclosporine, anti-cancer medications. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.


It is important to understand the risks and benefits of vaccinations. Discuss this with your doctor.

Missed Dose

It is important to receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to ask when each dose should be received and make a note of the schedule.


Refrigerate between 36 to 46 degrees F (2 to 8 degrees C). Do not freeze.