hepatitis-a/hepatitis-b vaccine - injection, Twinrix (cont.)

HOW TO USE: Read the Vaccine Information Statement available from your health care provider before receiving the vaccine. If you have any questions, consult your health care provider.This vaccine is usually given by injection into the shoulder muscle by a health care professional. Hepatitis A/B vaccine is a slightly milky, white suspension. Before giving this medication, inspect it visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Shake the vial or prefilled syringe well before giving the dose. Do not dilute. Use the full recommended dose of the vaccine. Discard any remaining vaccine left in single-dose vials.A series of 3 injections is usually given over 6 months. Your doctor will give you a vaccination schedule, which must be followed closely for best effectiveness. If you have an infection with fever at the time a vaccination is scheduled, your doctor may choose to delay the injection until you are better.Dosage is based on your age. Different brands of hepatitis A/B vaccine are available for different ages and may be given differently.If you are receiving the first hepatitis A/B vaccine injection at a time when your doctor feels you may have been exposed to either hepatitis A or B, you will also receive an injection of immune globulin. Immune globulin is a dose of antibodies against the viruses and will immediately help protect you from developing an infection. These antibodies only last a few months. For long-term protection, it is important to follow your vaccination schedule exactly.

SIDE EFFECTS: Pain/redness/swelling at the injection site, fever, tiredness, headache, nausea, and diarrhea may occur. Less common side effects may include bruising/itching at the injection site, sweating, dizziness, weakness, muscle/joint aches, cold symptoms, vomiting, temporary loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, constipation, swollen glands (lymph nodes), irritability, agitation, and trouble sleeping. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Report all side effects to your doctor before you receive the next injection.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, severe headache (migraine).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: tingling/numbness, inability to make muscles of the legs/arms/face work (paralysis), vision changes, seizures, easy bruising/bleeding, mental/mood changes (e.g., unusual behavior, confusion, severe drowsiness, severe tiredness, stiff neck, visual sensitivity to light).A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US, you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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