Engerix-B Warnings and Precautions

Engerix-B may cause potentially dangerous breathing problems in very premature infants. Other warnings for this product relate to things such as avoiding Engerix-B if you have ever had a reaction to a hepatitis B vaccine in the past. To reduce your risk, talk to your healthcare provider about the warnings and precautions with Engerix-B that may apply to you.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

Before you receive Engerix-B® (hepatitis B vaccine), talk to your healthcare provider if you have:
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • An immune-suppressing condition, such as HIV or AIDS, diabetes, or cancer
  • Had any sort of a reaction to a vaccine
  • A moderate or severe illness
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell the healthcare provider about any medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Engerix-B Warnings and Precautions

Safety precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking Engerix-B include the following:
  • This vaccine may cause apnea (prolonged and potentially dangerous breathing problems) in premature infants (those born before 28 weeks gestation). This risk, along with the need for respiratory monitoring for two to three days after the injection, should be considered when deciding whether to give this vaccine to such infants.
  • In rare cases, there have been reports of this vaccine worsening multiple sclerosis. At this time, there is no clear link between Engerix-B and MS (or worsening of existing MS). Nonetheless, if you have MS, be sure to discuss this possible risk with your healthcare provider before getting this vaccine.
  • You can receive Engerix-B if you have a mild illness, such as the common cold. However, it is usually best to postpone the vaccine in the case of a moderate or severe illness.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have ever had any serious reactions to a vaccine.
  • If you have an immune-suppressing condition, Engerix-B may not be as effective as usual for protection against hepatitis B, as your immune system may not be fully capable of responding to the vaccine.
  • Engerix-B prefilled syringes contain latex. If you have a latex allergy, make sure the healthcare provider uses Engerix-B from a vial, not the prefilled syringes, since the vials do not contain latex.
  • Engerix-B is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it is unknown if it is safe for use during pregnancy (see Engerix-B and Pregnancy).
  • As with most vaccines, Engerix-B is considered safe for breastfeeding women (see Engerix-B and Breastfeeding).
  • Some people are concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. The pediatric version of this vaccine (for children and teens) contains 0.25 mg of aluminum per dose, while the adult version contains 0.5 mg per dose.
  • Engerix-B is not made from human fetal components or animal components, unlike some vaccines.
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Engerix-B Vaccine Information

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