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All about: ActHIB

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Generic Name: haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine (hee MAW fih liss in flu EN za)
Brand Names: Acthib, Hibtiter, Omnihib, Pedvax HIB, Prohibit

What is haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine?

Haemophilus influenzae is a serious disease caused by bacteria. It usually strikes children younger than 5 years old. Haemophilus influenzae is spread from person to person. Children and adults may have the bacteria and not know it. If the germs stay in a child's nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the germs spread into the lungs or the bloodstream, and then Hib can cause serious problems. Hib vaccine exposes the individual to a small amount of the bacteria (or to a protein from the bacteria) and causes the body to develop immunity to the disease.

Before Hib vaccine, Hib was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among children under 5 years old in the United States. Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings, which can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness. Hib disease can also cause pneumonia; severe swelling in the throat, making it hard to breathe; infections of the blood, joints, bone, and covering of the heart; and death.

Haemophilus influenzae vaccine (Hib) can help prevent the disease. Many more children would get the disease if vaccination did not occur.

What is the most important information I should know about haemophilus influenzae type b 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 Hib vaccine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine?

Anyone who had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of Hib should not get another dose. Children younger than 6 weeks of age should not get Hib 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 Hib vaccine.

Talk to your doctor before receiving Hib vaccine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

How is haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine administered?

Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will administer the haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine as an injection.

Children should get 4 doses of Hib vaccine, one dose at each of the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months. Depending on what brand of Hib vaccine is used, your child might not need the dose at 6 months of age. Your doctor or nurse will tell you if this dose is needed.

Children over 5 years old usually do not need Hib vaccine. But some older children or adults with special health conditions should get it. These conditions include sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, removal of the spleen, bone marrow transplant, or cancer treatment with drugs. Ask your doctor or nurse for details.

Hib may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

Your doctor may recommend reducing fever and pain by giving the child 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 Hib vaccine 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 I overdose?

An overdose of Hib vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after getting haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine?

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

Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine side effects

Getting haemophilus influenzae disease is much riskier than getting Hib vaccine. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of Hib 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 Hib 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:

  • fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit (about up to 1 child in 20); or

  • redness, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given (up to about 1 child in 4).

If these problems happen, they usually start within a day of vaccination. They may last 2-3 days.

Your doctor may recommend reducing fever and pain by giving the child 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 haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine?

Talk to your doctor before receiving Hib 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).

Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccinations.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist may have additional information or suggest additional resources regarding Hib 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: 1.03. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:02:21 PM.

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