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Hepatyrix Suspension for Injection

What Hepatyrix is and what it is used for

Hepatyrix is a vaccine which helps prevent hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Hepatitis A is an infectious illness of the liver caused by a virus. Typhoid fever is an infectious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi.

This vaccine should only be given to adults and teenagers aged 15 years and above.

How Hepatyrix works

Hepatyrix contains inactive hepatitis A virus and a very small part of the bacterium which cause typhoid fever.

The hepatitis A virus is not alive, so this vaccine cannot cause hepatitis A infection.

There are no live bacteria in this vaccine, so it cannot cause typhoid fever.

When you are given the vaccine it will trigger the body’s immune system to prepare itself to protect against these viruses in the future.

Like other vaccines, Hepatyrix may not be totally effective in protecting you against hepatitis A and typhoid fever.

Hepatyrix will not protect you if you have already caught hepatitis A or typhoid fever.

Hepatyrix will only prevent diseases caused by Hepatitis A virus and by the bacterium Salmonella typhi.

Hepatitis A virus causes an infection of the liver. Typhoid fever is an infectious illness caused by a type of bacteria called Salmonella typhi.

Both diseases are caught and spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The viruses are present in the bowel movement (motion) of infected people, even when they may have no signs of the infection. The diseases can occur in any country, but the risk is highest in places and countries where sanitation and food and water hygiene are poor.

The main signs of hepatitis A infection include a headache, fever, sickness and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Most patients usually get better in a few weeks, but it may take some months to make a full recovery. Rarely, hepatitis A infection can also cause serious liver disease and very rarely death.

The main signs of typhoid fever include headache, pains in the stomach, constipation or diarrhoea, fever and, in some people, a rash. Patients normally get better after about four weeks, but relapses can occur. If it is not treated properly, typhoid can also be fatal.

Before receiving Hepatyrix

Hepatyrix should not be given if:

  • you are allergic (hypersensitive) to Hepatyrix or any of the ingredients (listed in Section 6)
  • you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any other hepatitis A injection or any other typhoid injection
  • you are allergic to neomycin, an antibiotic used to treat skin infections
  • you have a high temperature (fever).

Hepatyrix should not be given if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before having Hepatyrix.

Take special care with Hepatyrix

Talk to your doctor before the vaccine is given if you:

have a weakened immune system (for example due to HIV infection or due to medicines that suppress the immune system). You may not get the full benefits from Hepatyrix.

If you are not sure if any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor before having Hepatyrix.

Using other medicines and vaccines

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines including medicines obtained without prescription. Hepatyrix can be given at the same time as most other routine vaccines. The doctor will ensure that the vaccines are injected separately and into different parts of the body. Hepatyrix must not be mixed with other vaccines in the same syringe.

In particular talk to your doctor if:

  • you are to be given ‘yellow fever vaccine’
  • you need an injection of immunoglobulins (antibodies obtained from blood donors).

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Women who are pregnant may sometimes be vaccinated.

Talk to your doctor if you think you are, or might be pregnant.

Talk to your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Driving and using machines

Hepatyrix may affect your ability to drive or use machines. Do not drive or use machines if you are feeling unwell.

How Hepatyrix is given

How your vaccine is given

Hepatyrix will be given:

  • as an injection in to the muscle of the upper arm
  • at least two weeks before departure if you are going on holiday, to give the immune system time to respond and start to protect you against infection.

Please tell your doctor if you have bleeding disorders or suffer from excessive bleeding. In this case, Hepatyrix may exceptionally be given deep into the skin. Since bleeding may occur while being vaccinated, firm pressure should be applied to the injection site for at least two minutes after the injection. Protection may be less if Hepatyrix is injected deep into the skin.

How much is given

You will receive Hepatyrix as a single 1 ml dose.

If you have not previously received a hepatitis A vaccine, one dose of Hepatyrix will protect you from hepatitis A infection for at least 1 year.

You may be given another injection, called a “booster injection”, of an inactivated hepatitis A vaccine any time between 6 and 12 months after a single dose of Hepatyrix. This is to give you long term (up to 10 years) protection against the hepatitis A virus.

If you have already been given a hepatitis A vaccine, you may be given Hepatyrix as a booster vaccination against hepatitis A and this will also protect you against typhoid fever. A single dose of 1 ml may be given to you between 6 and 12 months after the first dose of hepatitis A vaccine.

One dose of Hepatyrix should protect you from typhoid fever for at least 3 years. If after 3 years you remain at risk of catching typhoid fever you should arrange to see your doctor to receive a purified typhoid vaccine.

Possible side effects

Like all vaccines, Hepatyrix can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.The following side effects may happen with this vaccine:

Allergic reactions (these may occur with up to 1 in 10,000 doses of the vaccine)

If you have an allergic reaction, see your doctor straight away. The signs may include:

  • your face swelling
  • low blood pressure
  • difficulty breathing
  • your skin going blue
  • loss of consciousness.

These signs usually start very soon after the injection has been given to you. See a doctor straight away if they happen after leaving the clinic.

Other side effects include:

Very Common (these may occur with 1 in 10 doses or more of the vaccine)

  • pain and redness at the injection site

Common (these may occur with up to 1 in 10 doses of the vaccine)

  • swelling at the injection site
  • feeling generally unwell
  • headache
  • general aches
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • feeling sick
  • itching.

Very Rare (these may occur with up to 1 in 10,000 doses of the vaccine)

  • fainting
  • skin rashes
  • fits (convulsions)
  • joint or muscle pains
  • problems with your nerves, signs may include: pins and needles, loss of feeling or numbness, problems moving your arms and legs or difficulty with walking and moving about.

Other side effects have been noted with the individual hepatitis A vaccine so there is a possibility that they may also happen with Hepatyrix, these include:    being sick (vomiting) and loss of appetite

If any of the side effects get serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store Hepatyrix

Keep out of the reach and sight of children.

Store in a refrigerator (2°C – 8°C).

Do not freeze.

Protect from light.

Do not use Hepatyrix after the expiry date which is stated on the label and the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Store in the original package with this leaflet.

Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.

Further information

What Hepatyrix contains

The active ingredients are:

  • 25 micrograms of the Vi polysaccharide antigen (a part of the Salmonella typhi(Ty2 strain) bacterium that causes typhoid fever)
  • 1440 ELISA units of hepatitis A viral protein.
  • The other ingredients are sodium chloride, water for injections.

What Hepatyrix looks like and contents of the pack

Hepatyrix is presented as a white and milky suspension. It is provided in single dose (1 ml) glass pre-filled syringes. Hepatyrix is available in packs of 1 and 10 or packs of 1,10,20, and 50 without needles, however not all pack sizes may be marketed.

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