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All about: H-BIG

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Generic Name: hepatitis B immune globulin (HEP a TYE tis B im MYOON GLOB yoo lin)
Brand Names: H-BIG, HepaGam B, Hyperhep B, Nabi-HB

What is H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin)?

Hepatitis B immune globulin is made from human plasma containing proteins that protect against the type B form of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

Hepatitis B immune globulin is used to prevent hepatitis B in people receiving a liver transplant, and in babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B. It is also used to prevent hepatitis B in people who have been exposed to contaminated blood products, or through household or sexual contact with an infected person.

Hepatitis B immune globulin is not a vaccine. Therefore it will not provide long-term protection from hepatitis B. For long-term protection you must receive a hepatitis B vaccine such as Engerix-B, Recombivax HB (for adults), or Twinrix (for children).

Hepatitis B immune globulin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin)?

Hepatitis B immune globulin is not a vaccine. Therefore it will not provide long-term protection from hepatitis B. For long-term protection you must receive a hepatitis B vaccine such as Engerix-B, Recombivax HB (for adults), or Twinrix (for children).

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to human globulins, or if you have an immunoglobulin A deficiency. Hepatitis B immune globulin should not be injected into your muscle if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia.

Hepatitis B immune globulin is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may contain viruses and other infectious agents that can cause disease. Although donated human plasma is screened, tested, and treated to reduce the risk of it containing anything that could cause disease, there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with hepatitis B immune globulin. Your liver function will also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor. Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with hepatitis B immune globulin, and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends. The live vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before receiving H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin)?

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to human globulins, or if you have an immunoglobulin A deficiency. Hepatitis B immune globulin should not be injected into your muscle if you have a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia.

Hepatitis B immune globulin is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may contain viruses and other infectious agents that can cause disease. Although donated human plasma is screened, tested, and treated to reduce the risk of it containing anything that could cause disease, there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether hepatitis B immune globulin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is hepatitis B immune globulin given?

Hepatitis B immune globulin is given as an injection into a muscle or through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Hepatitis B immune globulin is given to liver transplant patients as part of the transplant procedure, and then for several weeks or months afterward. The medication is usually given to transplant patients as an IV (injected into a vein) every day for 7 days, then every 2 weeks for the next 11 weeks, followed by monthly injections from then on.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested often. This will help your doctor determine how long to treat you with hepatitis B immune globulin after your transplant. Your liver function will also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

To protect against hepatitis B after exposure to the disease, this medication is usually given as soon as possible after exposure to an infected person. A booster medication is then given 24 hours later.

Babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B should receive this medication within 12 hours of birth, or when the newborn is otherwise medically stable.

For people who have had sexual contact with someone infected with hepatitis B, this medication should be given within 14 days after the last contact. The medication may also be given at any time if contact with the infected person will continue.

Any infant whose parent or caregiver is infected with hepatitis B should receive this medication.

This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests, including some blood glucose tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are receiving hepatitis B immune globulin.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose, or if you miss an appointment to have your injection given.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this medication is not expected to produce life-threatening side effects. Overdose symptoms may include pain or tenderness where the injection was given.

What should I avoid while receiving H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin)?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with hepatitis B immune globulin, and for at least 3 months after your treatment ends. The live vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, chest pain, numbness, seizure);

  • left-sided stomach pain; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects include:

  • upset stomach, diarrhea;

  • tremors or shaking;

  • joint or back pain;

  • fever, chills;

  • headache; or

  • tired feeling.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect H-BIG (hepatitis B immune globulin)?

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect hepatitis B immune globulin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist may have information about this medication written for health professionals that you may read. You may also find additional information from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03. Revision Date: 08/15/2007 2:08:10 PM.

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