Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects the liver and is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Hepatitis B can be transmitted through the blood or other bodily fluids of a contaminated person to a noncontaminated person. This happens through sexual contact with an infected person, sharing of drugs or needles, percutaneous (through the skin) exposures, tattooing and body piercing in an unsanitary environment, unsafe injections in medical environments in developing countries, needlesticks or sharps if you work in a medical environment, and, if a mother is infected, she can pass HPV to her child.

The symptoms patients may encounter if exposed to hepatitis B are fever, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, joint or abdominal pain, vomiting, dark urine, light-colored stool, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. About one-third to half of people with acute hepatitis B will show symptoms, but children—especially those <5 years of age—will not necessarily show any symptoms of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended by the CDC to prevent hepatitis B in conjunction with a hepatitis B immune globulin such as HyperHEP B S/D.

Hepatitis B immune globulin is a treatment that contains high levels of hepatitis B antibodies. An immune globulin works much faster than a vaccine but does not last as long. Because of the potentially life-threatening nature of hepatitis B, after exposure you may decide to give your patients a hepatitis B immune globulin shot like HyperHEP B S/D and a vaccine to make sure they get the comprehensive care they need.2,3

HyperHEP B® S/D (hepatitis B immune globulin [human]) is indicated for postexposure prophylaxis in the following situations: acute exposure to blood containing HBsAg, perinatal exposure of infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers, sexual exposure to an HBsAg-positive person, and household exposure to persons with acute HBV infection.

HyperHEP B S/D should be given with caution to patients with a history of prior systemic allergic reactions following the administration of human immunoglobulin preparations. Epinephrine should be available.

In patients who have severe thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder that would contraindicate intramuscular injections, hepatitis B immune globulin (human) should be given only if the expected benefits outweigh the risks.

Local pain and tenderness at the injection site, urticaria, and angioedema may occur; anaphylactic reactions, although rare, have been reported following the injection of human immunoglobulin preparations. Administration of live virus vaccines (eg, MMR) should be deferred for approximately 3 months after hepatitis B immune globulin (human) administration.

HyperHEP B S/D is made from human plasma. Products made from human plasma may contain infectious agents, such as viruses, and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent that can cause disease. There is also the possibility that unknown infectious agents may be present in such products.

Please see full Prescribing Information for HyperHEP B S/D.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B questions and answers for the public. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  2. U.S. Public Health Service. Updated U.S. Public Health Service guidelines for the management of occupational exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2001;50(RR-11):1-52.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B. In: Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe S, eds. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 13th ed. Washington, DC: Public Health Foundation; 2015:149-174. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/hepb.html. Accessed June 27, 2019.