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Hepatitis B



Hepatitis B vaccine is used to vaccinate (offer protection) against hepatitis B virus, which is a major cause of serious liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

How it works

Hepatitis B vaccines are used for active immunisation against hepatitis B infection. Two types of vaccine have been available each containing hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) adsorbed onto aluminium hydroxide or a similar adsorbent.

Common side effects

Neuropathy, Pain, Paralysis, Abdominal pain, Anaphylactic reaction, Angioedema (swelling of deeper layers of skin), Convulsion, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Decreased blood pressure, Itching, Feeling of discomfort, Meningitis, Muscle pain, Nausea, Rash, Skin redness, Vomiting, Weakness


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Expert advice

  • Inform your doctor before taking the vaccine if you have a weakened immune system due to cancer, use of anti-cancer drugs, dialysis or HIV infection.
  • Inform your doctor before taking the vaccine if you are old, obese or if you smoke.
  • Tell your doctor if you fainted during earlier vaccination with hepatitis B or if you have problems with blood clotting or if you have hepatitis B infection or live in an area prone to hepatitis B infection.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery as the vaccine may make you feel dizzy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Do not take if allergic to hepatitis B or any other vaccines or any of its ingredients.
  • Do not take if having fever.

Frequently asked questions

Hepatitis B

Q. Is hepatitis B infection curable?
No. In most cases, the symptoms of hepatitis B infection is resolved within 4-8 weeks but person remain infected for lifetime. In some cases, however, symptoms may persist for a longer time (chronic infection).

Q. Is hepatitis B infection fatal or life-threatening?
Yes. Hepatitis B infection symptoms, if present for a longer time, may cause chronic infection, liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Q. Is hepatitis B infection contagious?
Yes. Hepatitis B virus infection is contagious.

Q. Does it spread through saliva or sharing of food?
Spreads through contact with the body fluids including saliva, blood, semen etc. of the infected person.

Q. Does hepatitis B vaccine cause fever?
Mild fever may occur after hepatitis B vaccine administration. Contact your doctor if your fever worsens or does not go away.

Content on this page was last updated on 15 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)