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All about: Havrix Pediatric

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Generic Name: hepatitis A vaccine (hep a TI tis A vack seen)
Brand Names: Havrix, Havrix Pediatric, Vaqta, Vaqta Pediatric

What is Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine)?

Hepatitis A is a serious disease caused by a virus. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is found in the stool of persons with hepatitis A. HAV can be spread through close personal contact, by drinking contaminated water or by eating contaminated food. HAV can also be spread by having unprotected sex with an infected person, by sharing needles when injecting drugs or by being stuck with a used needle on the job. Hepatitis A vaccine 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 the disease.

Hepatitis A infection can cause a "flu-like" illness that leads to loss of appetite; diarrhea and vomiting; tiredness; jaundice (yellow skin or eyes); or pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.

Vaccination with hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for persons 2 years of age and older traveling or working in areas with high rates of hepatitis A infection. These areas include Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Asia (except Japan), Africa, southern or eastern Europe, and others. Primary immunization should be completed at least 2 weeks prior to expected exposure to HAV.

What is the most important information I should know about Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine)?

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 hepatitis A vaccine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine)?

Before receiving a hepatitis A vaccine, tell your healthcare provider if you have had an allergic reaction to vaccines, other medicines, preservatives, foods, or dyes.

Before receiving hepatitis A vaccine, talk to your doctor if you:

  • 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 medications);

  • have a bleeding disorder, blood disease, or heart problems

  • have cancer; or

  • are receiving cancer treatment with x-rays, radiation, or medication.

Ask your healthcare provider for more information. Hepatitis A vaccine may not be recommended in some cases.

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 hepatitis A vaccine.

Talk to your doctor before receiving hepatitis A vaccine if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breast-feeding a baby.

How is hepatitis A vaccine administered?

Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will administer the hepatitis A vaccine as an injection.

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.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if a dose of hepatitis A vaccine is missed or if you get behind schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of hepatitis A vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after getting Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine)?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity before or after receiving hepatitis A vaccine.

Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine) side effects

Getting hepatitis A disease is much riskier than getting hepatitis A vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of hepatitis A vaccine 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 hepatitis A vaccine are experienced:
  • 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

  • behavior changes.

Other less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • mild to moderate fever;

  • loss of appetite;

  • fatigue;

  • headache; or

  • soreness where the shot was given, lasting a day or two.

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 bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Havrix Pediatric (hepatitis A vaccine)?

Talk to your doctor before receiving hepatitis A vaccine 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, Nasacort);

  • treatment for cancer with chemotherapy (medication), radiation, or x-rays;

  • azathioprine (Imuran);

  • basiliximab (Simulect);

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf);

  • etanercept (Enbrel);

  • leflunomide (Arava);

  • muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone);

  • mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept);

  • sirolimus (Rapamune); or

  • tacrolimus (Prograf).

Other drugs may affect the immune system, tell your doctor about any medications you are taking prior to receiving hepatitis A vaccine.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist may have additional information or suggest additional resources regarding hepatitis A vaccine.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • 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: 1.01. Revision Date: 5/6/04 12:41:41 PM.

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