Haemophilus B Polysaccharide Vaccine (Injection, Intramuscular)

Haemophilus b polysaccharide injection is an immunizing medication used to prevent infections by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria.

Overview

Haemophilus b polysaccharide injection is an immunizing medication used to protect against infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (also known as Hib) bacteria. The injection works by making the body produce more of its protection in the form of antibodies to help fight the disease.

The following subsequent advice is relevant only to the Haemophilus b polysaccharide injection.

Infection by the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria may cause incredibly serious or lethal illnesses; diseases like meningitis, which attacks the brain; epiglottitis, which may result in death by suffocation due to inflammation or swelling of the epiglottis; pericarditis, which greatly affects the pericardium surrounding the heart; pneumonia, which affects the alveoli inside the lungs; and septic arthritis, which can severely affect both the bones and the joints. Meningitis caused by Hib bacteria results in death in 5 - 10% of children who are infected. Additionally, roughly 30% of all children who have survived through Hib meningitis live on with some kind of permanent damage that can be regarded as serious; this includes deafness, mental retardation, partial blindness and in some cases, epilepsy.

Inoculation against Hib is highly recommended for all children from 24 months and up to 5 years of age. Additionally, inoculation is recommended for children between the ages of 18 up to 24 months of age, especially if:

  • Your children are attending a day-care facility.
  • Your child has chronic diseases that are associated with an increased risk of Hib disease. These diseases include any antibody deficiency syndromes, asplenia, immunosuppression, Hodgkin's disease and sickle cell disease.
  • Any children aged between 18 to 24 months who have had Hib disease before. The disease can infect these children again if they are not inoculated. Children who have developed Hib disease when they are aged 24 months or older will not need to be inoculated. This is because most children in this age group will likely develop the necessary antibodies to protect against the disease.
  • Your child has HIV infection or AIDS.
  • Children belonging to certain racial groups; namely American Indian or Alaskan Eskimo seem to have an increased risk of contracting Hib disease.
  • Children are living closely with larger groups of other people. Typically, in closer living conditions, a child's risk of exposure to the Hib infection is increased as others may carry the bacteria which can cause the disease.

It is highly recommended that children should get a second injection when they are between the ages of 18 to 24 months as children between these ages may not naturally produce a suitable amount of antibodies to protect them fully from Hib disease. All children first immunized at the age 24 months or older will not need a second injection.

This injection is only available from your health care professional.

Generally, using a Hib injection in children or people older than 59 months is not advised. The majority of older children are usually immune to Hib, however, occasionally older children and even adults can have a heightened risk of contracting invasive Hib disease and can be inoculated if they did not receive this in earlier childhood. The increased risk is seen in those who suffer from anatomic asplenia, like sickle cell disease, immunodeficiencies, but most particularly in people with an IgG2 subclass deficiency, those infected with HIV, early component complement deficiency, and those receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.Patients who are undergoing an elective splenectomy should also receive a single dose of the Hib injection if previously unimmunized.

Conditions Treated?

  • Haemophilus influenza type b (otherwise known as Hib)

Type Of Medication?

  • Polysaccharide conjugate injection

Side Effects

Along with the intended effects, a medication can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. And though you may not experience all or any of these side effects, if they are to occur they could warrant medical attention.

It is important to make contact with your health care professional urgently if any of these side effects develop:

  • Any symptoms of an allergic reaction
  • Any difficulties pertaining to breathing or swallowing
  • Skin bumps or hives
  • Any itching, most notably in the feet or hands
  • Irration or reddening of the skin most notably around the ears
  • Any swelling to or around the eyes, the face, or the inside of the nose
  • Feeling unusually tired or weaknesses, these can come on sudden and be quite severe

It is important to make contact with your health care professional immediately if any of these rare side effects develop:

  • Convulsions or seizures

Some additional side effects could occur that in most cases do not require medical attention. These side effects should disappear during your treatment when your body naturally begins to adjust to the medication. Your health care professional will be able to inform you of the ways in which you can prevent or help to reduce some of the side effects. You should contact your health care professional if any of these side effects continue for more than a few days or are particularly distressing or if you have further questions regarding them:

More common side effects include -

  • Diarrhea
  • A fever up to 102 °F that will usually last less than 48 hours
  • General irritability
  • A lack in appetite
  • A lack in interest
  • Redness or irritation at site of the injection
  • A reduction in physical activity
  • Tenderness or soreness at the site of the injection

Less common side effects include-

  • A fever reaching temperatures over 102 °F
  • A hardened lump at site of the injection
  • Unusual itching
  • Any joint pains or aches
  • Skin rashes
  • Any swelling at the site of the injection
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

Some other side effects that are not listed above can also occur in some patients. If you become aware of any other side effects, check with your health care professional.

Please contact your health care professional if you are in need of further medical advice about side effects.

Dosage

The dose of this medication will differ between patients. You should aim to follow your health care professional's advice or any directions on the label. The following advice is provided to include only average dosages of this medication. If your prescribed dosage is not the same, you should not alter it unless your health care professional specifically advises you to do this.

The exact dosage of medication that you will be prescribed will depend on the strength of the medication.

For use in the medications injection dosage form:

For the prevention of Haemophilus influenzae type b:

Adults and children 5 years and over - The use of this medication is not recommended and should be avoided unless otherwise advised by a health care professional.

Children up to the age of 18 months old - The use of this medication is not recommended and should be avoided unless otherwise advised by a health care professional.

Children between 18 and 24 months old - The usage and dosage must be allocated by your health care professional.

Children between 24 months to 5 years old - A single dose which is injected under the child's skin or directly into a muscle. A second dose will not be required.

Interactions

Although certain medications should not be used in conjunction with each other at all, in some cases, two different medications can be used simultaneously even if an interaction could occur. In these cases, your health care provider may want to alter your dose, or other precautions may be taken if necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or non-prescription medication.

Receiving this injection with the following medication is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases:

  • Cyclosporine

Use of some medications should be avoided at or around the time of eating food or eating particular kinds of food since interactions could occur. The consumption of alcohol or use of tobacco with certain medications could also cause occurrence of unwanted interactions. Discuss these issues with your healthcare professional regarding the use of your medication with food, tobacco and alcohol.

The presence of other medical issues could affect the use of this medication. Make sure you tell your health care provider if you have any other medical problems, but especially:

  • Fever or
  • Serious illness

Warnings

It is important to inform your health care professional if your child experiences any unusual or allergic reactions to this medication or any other medications.

This injection is not recommended for use in children aged younger than 18 months.

Storage

Hib injection should be stored at a cold temperature between 35°F and 46°F

The manufacturer package inserts will contain additional information which should be studied carefully.

Summary

Haemophilus b polysaccharide injection is an immunizing agent used to protect against infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (also known as Hib) bacteria. The injection works by making the body produce more of its own protection in the form of antibodies to help fight the disease.

Infection by the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria may cause incredibly serious or lethal illnesses; diseases like meningitis, which attacks the brain; epiglottitis, which may result in death by suffocation due to inflammation or swelling of the epiglottis; pericarditis, which greatly affects the pericardium surrounding the heart; pneumonia, which affects the alveoli inside the lungs; and septic arthritis, which can severely affect both the bones and the joints.

Along with the intended effects, a medication can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. And though you may not experience all or any of these side effects, if they are to occur they could warrant medical attention.

It is important to inform your health care professional if your child experiences any unusual or allergic reactions to this medication or any other medications.

Use of some medications should be avoided at or around the time of eating food or eating particular kinds of food since interactions could occur. The consumption of alcohol or use of tobacco with certain medications could also cause occurrence of unwanted interactions. Discuss these issues with your healthcare professional regarding the use of your medication with food, tobacco and alcohol.

This injection is not recommended for use in children aged younger than 18 months.