1 What is ActHIB?

Brand: ActHIB, Hiberix, Hibtiter, Pedvaxhib

Generic: Haemophilus B Conjugate Vaccine

ActHIB is an active vaccine which provides immunity to infection caused by Hemophilus influenza type B bacteria. It works by stimulating our immune system to produce antibodies against this organism.

Hemophilus influenza type B is known to cause severe diseases in human beings like:

These conditions can further result in complications like:

  • Mental retardation
  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy or partial blindness

This vaccine also contains substance related to menigococcus, diphtheria and tetanus as well but it is not enough to replace their own vaccines.

The conjugate vaccine is recommended for children between 2 months to 5 years of age followed by booster doses.

It is available only under clinical setting by an experienced medical professional in the form of powder for solution and suspension or in the form of injectable solution.

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2 What To Know Before Using

If you are about to start ActHIB, speak with your doctor about what you need to know.

The patient is the authoritative figure when it comes to any medical procedure or any drug therapy. It is important for the patient to know all the details about the drug and then start using it. Doctor also has a duty to bring out answers from the patient which play an important role in treatment like history, any allergy or any medical condition the patient has.

For this purpose, it is important to have a detailed session between the patient and the physician before starting this drug to sort out all the details.

Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is more likely that a drug be started after it. Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

Age specific analysis is vital to have information about side effects in different age groups. Studies have revealed that this vaccine as well as the booster are safe for use in children and are efficacious in the prevention of infection. It is not recommended for use in adults and geriatric population. It also poses minimal risk to the infant for use in breastfeeding women.

Drug interactions are the effects on the therapy or the condition for which the drug is used by other drugs used concomitantly. It is necessary that no drug be started without consulting a physician as other drugs may cause alteration in the effect of this drug or its removal from the body.

Medical conditions, other than the condition for which this drug is used, may also affect working of the drug and cause harm. It is important for the patient to give detailed history, and important for the doctor to derive such details from the patient to avoid such circumstances. The conditions which may interact with this conjugate vaccine include Guillain-Barré syndrome, tetanus history or use of its vaccine and immune system depression.

3 Proper Usage

ActHIB is given under clinical setting by a nurse or any other trained medical professional.

The exact dose of the vaccine depends on the brand of the vaccine but usually the first dose is given between 2 to 6 months of age. This initial dose is followed by two doses each 8 weeks apart.

Booster dose is given then at 15 to 18 months of age and should be given till the child is 5 years of age.

Make sure that the child receives all the doses properly to provide complete immunity.

If the child is receiving any other vaccine too, it should be given at a different area of body.

4 Precautions To Take

In using ActHIB, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Precautions are the part and parcel of any treatment and patient must adhere to these to improve the outcome.

It is the duty of the doctor or any medical care provider to make the patient aware about these tips as an aid to the therapy.

  • Make sure that the child receives all the doses properly to provide complete immunity.
  • Inform your doctor about use of this drug before any blood test as it can influence the results.
  • Allergy to latex should be informed so that there is no unwanted effect.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with ActHIB. There is no drug in the world which is without its unwanted effects.

Some drugs are relatively safe for use while for some drugs, the patient should be cautious as these drugs may cause more harm than good. Patient should always get medical help in case of any adverse effect, no matter how trivial it is.

Common side effects resulted by this vaccine include:

Some side effects which may occur rarely include:

  • Bluish lips or skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Hives and itching
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose swollen
  • Painful or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin unusual tiredness and weakness

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