People of all ages can receive Engerix-B to help prevent hepatitis B. In particular, the vaccine is recommended for all children under 18 years of age, as well as adults who are at increased risk for hepatitis B. A healthcare provider may also use Engerix-B (when given with hepatitis B immune globulin) to reduce a person's risk of infection after exposure to the virus.
What Is Engerix-B Used For?Engerix-B® (hepatitis B vaccine) is one of a few different vaccines available to provide protection against hepatitis B. It is approved for people of all ages. In particular, Engerix-B is recommended for people in the following groups:
- All infants and children under 18 years of age
- Adults who are at an increased risk for hepatitis B infection, including (but not limited to):
- Sexual partners of people infected with hepatitis B
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject street drugs
- People with more than one sex partner
- People with chronic liver or kidney disease
- People with jobs that expose them to human blood
- People who live in the same house as others with hepatitis B
- Residents and staff in institutions for the developmentally disabled
- Kidney dialysis patients
- People who travel to countries where hepatitis B is common
- People with HIV.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver; it is caused by a virus (specifically, the hepatitis B virus). Most people who get it can get rid of the virus on their own, but others can develop chronic (lifelong) hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and even death.
There are several other types of viral hepatitis, including hepatitis A, C, D, E, and G. Engerix-B specifically provides protection against hepatitis B. However, because people cannot get hepatitis D without having hepatitis B, the vaccine also provides protection against hepatitis D.
In addition to the preventive way most vaccines are used, Engerix-B can be used after an exposure to hepatitis B. This is known as post-exposure prophylaxis. In such situations, Engerix-B should be given along with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG).