Havrix

1 What is Havrix?

Brand: Havrix, Havrix Pediatric, Vaqta, Vaqta Pediatric

Generic: Hepatitis A Vaccine

Havrix is administered for the prevention of infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis A virus (HAV). After the vaccine is injected, the body generates its own protection by producing antibodies.

HAV is a virus which causes infection of the liver (Acute hepatitis) which can be serious. It is often spread through food and water. This vaccine is to be given only under the supervision of a doctor.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Suspension
  • Injectable
  • Solution

2 What To Know Before Using

Before using Havrix, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Your doctor will consider these risks before prescribing the vaccine and will inform you about them.

Following factors should be considered before taking this drug:

Allergies

If you have had an allergic reaction to this drug in the past, inform your doctor. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you are allergic to any other drugs or food products.

Age-specific problems

The data regarding the effects of this medicine specific to the pediatric age group is not yet available. Its safety and efficacy have not been established in children.

The studies specific to the geriatric age group have not been carried out, therefore its safety and efficacy have not been established in older age group. However, geriatric population is more prone to having kidney, liver and heart problems.

Pregnancy

Regarding the safety of usage of this drug during pregnancy, it comes under “C” category, which means that clinical trials on animals have revealed harmful effects to the developing fetus or relevant studies have not been performed.

Drug Interactions

Certain drugs should not be used together because they can interact inside the body which can have a harmful effect. On the other hand, certain drugs are allowed to be used together.

So, you should tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. If there is a chance of interaction between those two drugs, the doctor may change the dose or may prescribe an alternative drug.

Furthermore, certain medications should not be taken with alcohol or tobacco, which may also result in harmful interactions. Ask your doctor about the concurrent use of this drug along with alcohol or tobacco.

You should also inform your doctor about any other medical condition you may be suffering from, especially:

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Havrix requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. This vaccine should only be administered under the supervision of a nurse or a trained healthcare professional.

This vaccine is usually given through an injection in your muscles. This vaccine is usually given in 2 doses. After the first dose, the second dose is given after 6 to 12 months.

Storage

This medicine should be stored at room temperature within a closed container, away from heat, direct light, and moisture. Keep this drug out of the reach of children. Do not store expired or outdated medicines or the medicine no longer needed.

4 Precautions To Take

Before using Havrix, there are some precautions you must take. It is important that you take your child to your doctor after 6 to 12 months for the second dose. Inform your doctor if your child had any adverse reaction after the first dose. 

This vaccine can also cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, which is a serious condition. So, tell your doctor immediately if you feel anything out of the ordinary.

Avoid taking any other medicine unless thoroughly discussed with your doctor. Always ask your doctor before using any prescription, non-prescription or herbal medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Havrix. Although these side effects may occur only in a handful of patients, but if they do occur, contact your physician immediately.

This medication is associated with the following side effects:

  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Fever more than 99.5 degrees F
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Chills
  • Body aches or pain
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
  • Cough
  • Dryness or soreness of the throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Ear congestion
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Itching, especially of the feet or hands
  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of voice
  • Reddening of the skin, especially around the ears
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, or inside of the nose
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)
  • Wheezing
  • Voice changes
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Back pain
  • Agitation
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • Blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Feeling of discomfort
  • Coma
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Ddrowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Forgetful
  • Inability to move the arms and legs
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased sweating
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Inflammation of the joints
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Muscle aches or cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • Rash
  • Seizures
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Sensation of pins and needles
  • Slurred speech
  • Shakiness and unsteady walk
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Stiff neck
  • Stabbing pain
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
  • Unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination
  • Unpleasant breath odor
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow eyes or skin
  • Vomiting of blood

Seek medical help instantly, if you experience any of these symptoms. Also contact your health care professional immediately, if you have overdosed on this drug. If any of these side effects becomes more bothersome or does not go away, contact your doctor.

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