What is hepatitis A vaccine? What are the uses for hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix, Vaqta) is used to prevent hepatitis A, a type of liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with food, drinks, or objects which have been contaminated by feces or stool of an HAV-infected person. Hepatitis A infection can be mild with no symptoms or a serious illness that can rarely cause liver failure and death. Getting vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus is the best way to prevent these problems.

The hepatitis A vaccine does not cause hepatitis because it does not contain the live virus. It contains inactivated hepatitis A virus. The vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce antibodies, which are proteins that will fight and kill the virus and prevent hepatitis A infection.

The hepatitis A vaccine is used for the prevention of disease caused by hepatitis A virus in persons 12 months of age and older. The primary dose should be given at least 2 weeks prior to expected exposure to HAV.

Hepatitis A vaccine was approved in 2005.

What brand names are available for hepatitis A vaccine?

Havrix, Vaqta

Is hepatitis A vaccine available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

Do I need a prescription for hepatitis A vaccine?

Yes

What are the side effects of hepatitis A vaccine?

Mild side effects include:

Other reported side effects include:

What is the dosage for hepatitis A vaccine?

Hepatitis A vaccine is administered by injection into the muscle of the upper arm. Two separate shots of 0.5 ml for children and 1 ml for adults are required and should be given 6 to 12 months apart (Havrix) or 6 to 18 months apart (Vaqta). Hepatitis A vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

  • Children should be vaccinated at 12 through 23 months of age.
  • Alternatively, anyone over the age of 12 months who wishes to be protected from the hepatitis A virus can be vaccinated at any time.
  • Travelers are advised to get vaccinated at least 2 weeks before travelling.

Which drugs or supplements interact with hepatitis A vaccine?

  • People with a weak immune system may not fully benefit from the vaccine.
  • Some medications may decrease the effectiveness of the hepatitis A vaccine. Examples include fingolimod (Gilenya), belimumab (Benlysta), anakinra (Kineret), adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), antineoplastic agents (anti-cancer medications), and other drugs that suppress the immune system.
  • Cancer patient's receiving treatment with anti-cancer medications and those taking immunosuppressant medications should ask their doctor or pharmacist if the hepatitis A vaccine is right for them.

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

Is hepatitis A vaccine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate or well-controlled trials of hepatitis A vaccine use in pregnant women. Therefore, hepatitis A vaccine should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

It is not known if the hepatitis A vaccine is excreted into human milk after administration to the mother. The manufacturer recommends caution when given it to nursing mothers.

What else should I know about hepatitis A vaccine?

What preparations of hepatitis A vaccine are available?

Solution for administration by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.

How should I keep hepatitis A vaccine stored?

Hepatitis A vaccine should be stored in the refrigerator, between 36 2 C to 8 C (36 F and 46 F).

Summary

Hepatitis a vaccine (Havrix, Vaqta) is used to prevent hepatitis A. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing and storage information, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medically Reviewed on 7/2/2019
References
FDA Prescribing Information
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW