Recombivax HB Uses
Recombivax HB is approved to prevent hepatitis B. The vaccine may also be given in combination with hepatitis B immune globulin to prevent the disease in people who have recently been exposed to the virus. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend "off-label" uses for Recombivax HB -- for example, giving an adult the pediatric formula during a vaccine shortage.
What Is Recombivax HB Used For?Recombivax HB® (hepatitis B vaccine) is one of a few vaccines available to provide protection against hepatitis B. It is approved for use in all ages. Specifically, hepatitis B vaccines (including Recombivax HB) are recommended for people in the following groups:
- Adults who are at an increased risk for hepatitis B infection, including (but not limited to):
- 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
- 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
- Kidney dialysis patients
- People who travel to countries where hepatitis B is common
- People with HIV.
- All infants and children under 18 years of age.
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that 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. Recombivax HB is used specifically to provide protection against hepatitis B. However, because people cannot get hepatitis D without having hepatitis B, Recombivax HB also provides protection against hepatitis D.
In addition to the preventive way most vaccines are used, Recombivax HB can be given after an exposure to hepatitis B. This is known as post-exposure prophylaxis. In such situations, this vaccine should be given with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG).