What is Engerix-B
B (HBV) is a serious disease caused by a virus. HBV is spread
through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected
person. A person can get infected in several ways, such as:
by having unprotected sex with an infected person; by sharing
needles when injecting illegal drugs; by being stuck with
a used needle on the job; and during birth when the virus
passes from an infected mother to her baby. Engerix-B exposes
the individual to a small amount of the virus (or to a protein
from the virus) and causes the body to develop immunity to
B infection can cause short-term (acute) illness that leads
to loss of appetite; diarrhea and vomiting; tiredness; jaundice
(yellow skin or eyes); or pain in the muscles, joints, and
stomach. It can also cause long-term (chronic) illness that
can lead to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death.
About 1.25 million people in the United States have chronic
hepatitis B infection.
with Engerix-B is recommended for all children younger than
18 years of age. Vaccination is also recommended for adults
over 18 who are at risk due to: having more than one sex partner
in 6 months; male homosexuality; sex contact of infected people;
injection of illegal drugs; healthcare and public safety workers
who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids; household
contacts of persons with chronic HBV infection; and hemodialysis
can help prevent the disease. Many more people would get the
disease if vaccination did not occur.
General medical information about Engerix-B
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may
be vaccinated. Those who are moderately or severely ill
should usually wait until they recover before getting Engerix-B.
What you should discuss with your doctor before receiving
Anyone who had a life-threatening allergic reaction
to baker's yeast (the kind used for making bread) or after
receiving a dose of Engerix-B should not get another dose.
Before receiving Engerix-B, talk to your doctor if
- have HIV or AIDS or another disease that affects
the immune system;
- are taking a medication that
affects the immune system (e.g. steroids, anti-rejection
- have cancer; or
- are receiving
cancer treatment with x-rays, radiation, or medication.
Ask your healthcare provider for more information.
Engerix-B may not be recommended in some cases.
with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.
Those who are moderately or severely ill should usually
wait until they recover before getting Engerix-B.
Talk to your doctor before receiving Engerix-B if you are
pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.
How is Engerix-B administered Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider
will administer the Engerix-B as an injection.
infant whose mother is infected with HBV should receive
the first dose of the vaccine within 12 hours of birth,
a second dose at 1-2 months of age, and a third dose at
6 months of age.
An infant whose mother is not infected
with HBV should receive the first dose of the vaccine from
birth to 2 months of age, a second dose from 1-4 months
of age (at least one month after the first dose), and a
third dose at 6-18 months of age.
An older child,
adolescent, or adult should receive the first dose of the
vaccine anytime, a second dose 1-2 months after the first
dose, and a third dose 4-6 months after the first dose.
Adolescents 11-15 years of age may need only two doses of
hepatitis B vaccine, separate by 4-6 months. Ask your healthcare
provider for details.
HBV may be given at the same
time as other vaccines.
Your doctor may recommend
reducing fever and pain by taking an aspirin-free pain reliever
such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, others) or ibuprofen
(Motrin, Advil, others) when the shot is given and for the
next 24 hours. Your healthcare provider can tell you the
appropriate dosages of these medications.
If you miss a dose: Contact your doctor if a dose of Engerix-B is missed
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 you overdose: An overdose of Engerix-B is unlikely to occur.
What should you avoid before or after getting Engerix-B There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or
activity before or after receiving Engerix-B.
Possible side effects of Engerix-B Getting hepatitis B disease is much riskier than
getting HBV vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine,
is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic
reactions. The risk of Engerix-B causing serious harm, or
death, is extremely small.
Seek emergency medical
attention or contact your doctor immediately if any of the
following rare but serious side effects from Engerix-B are
- a serious allergic reaction including
swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; difficulty breathing;
closing of the throat; hives; paleness; weakness; dizziness;
or a fast heart beat within a few minutes to a few hours
after the shot;
- high fever; or
Other less serious side effects may be more
likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience:
- mild to moderate fever (up to 1 out of 14 children
and adolescents, and 1 out of 100 adults); or
Where the shot was given, lasting a day or two (up to 1
out of 11 children and adolescents, and about 1 out of 4
Your doctor may recommend reducing fever
and pain by taking an aspirin-free pain reliever such as
acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, others) or ibuprofen (Motrin,
Advil, others) when the shot is given and for the next 24
hours. Your healthcare provider can tell you the appropriate
dosages of these medications..
Side effects other
than those listed here may also occur. Contact your doctor
about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially
What other drugs will affect Engerix-B Talk to your doctor before receiving Engerix-B if
you are taking any of the following medications that may
affect the immune system:
- an oral or injectable
steroid medication such as betamethasone (Celestone), cortisone
(Cortone), dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), hydrocortisone
(Cortef, Hydrocortone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone
(Prelone, Pediapred), prednisone (Orasone, Deltasone, others),
or triamcinolone (Aristocort);
- an inhaled or nasal
steroid such as beclomethasone (Qvar, Beclovent, Beconase,
Vanceril, Vancenase), budesonide (Pulmicort, Rhinocort),
flunisolide (Aerobid, Nasalide, Nasarel), fluticasone (Flovent,
Flonase), mometasone (Nasonex), or triamcinolone (Azmacort,
- treatment for cancer with chemotherapy
(medication), radiation, or x-rays;
- basiliximab (Simulect);
(Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf);
- etanercept (Enbrel);
- leflunomide (Arava);
- muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone);
- mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept);
- tacrolimus (Prograf).
can be given at the same time as other vaccinations.