You should always consult a healthcare professional before being given or taking Hepatyrix.
Hepatyrix product overview
What is Hepatyrix and what is it used for?
Hepatyrix is a vaccine which helps prevent hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Hepatitis A is an infectious illness of the liver caused by a virus. Typhoid fever is an infectious illness caused by a type of bacteria caused by Salmonella typhi.
Hepatitis A virus
- Hepatitis A virus causes an infection of the liver.
- You can catch the virus by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- The virus is present in the bowel movement (motion) of infected people, even when they may have no signs of the infection.
- You can catch hepatitis A infection in any country but the risk is highest in places and countries where sanitation and food and water hygiene are poor.
- After catching the virus, it can be around 28 days before signs of illness are seen.
- Some people have the virus and never get ill but they can still infect other people during this time.
Signs of hepatitis A
- The main signs of hepatitis A include sickness, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), fever and headache.
- These signs are all due to an inflammation of the liver while it is infected with the virus.
- Most patients get better, usually after a couple of weeks or months, but a few people may take several months to make a full recovery.
- Typhoid fever is an infectious illness caused by bacteria called Salmonella typhi.
- It is caused and spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Since the bacteria are present in faeces, the infection can occur in any country but it more commonly occurs in places or countries with poor standards of public hygiene.
Signs of typhoid fever
- The main signs of the illness include headache, pains in the stomach, constipation or diarrhoea and a fever that may last for one or two weeks.
- Patients normally get better after about four weeks, but relapses can occur. If not treated properly, typhoid can also be fatal.
How does Hepatyrix work?
- When you are given Hepatyrix it will trigger the body’s immune system to prepare itself to protect against these viruses in the future.
- Hepatyrix will only prevent diseases caused by hepatitis A and by the bacterium salmonella pyphi.
- Hepatyrix does not contain live viruses or bacteria and it cannot cause hepatitis A or typhoid fever.
- Like other vaccines, Hepatyrix may not be totally effective in protecting you against hepatitis A and typhoid fever.
- Hepatyrix will not protect you if you have already caught hepatitis A or typhoid fever.
How is Hepatyrix given?
- Hepatyrix (1 ml) is usually injected into the muscle in the upper arm.
- The doctor or nurse will give you instructions on when to receive Hepatyrix.
- For travellers, the vaccine is usually given at least two weeks before departure to give the immune system time to respond and start to protect you against infection.
If you have not been previously vaccinated against hepatitis A, one injection of Hepatyrix will protect you from hepatitis A infection for at least one year. You will need a booster injection of an inactivated Hepatitis A vaccine 6 to 12 months later to give you long term protection. Hepatyrix can also be given to boost your immunity to hepatitis A if you have already received a first dose of inactivated hepatitis A vaccine 6 to 12 months ago, provided that you also require protection against typhoid fever.
One injection of Hepatyrix should protect you from typhoid fever for about three years, if, after three years, you carry on being at risk from catching typhoid fever, you should arrange to receive an injection of typhoid vaccine.
For further information on Hepatyrix please see the Hepatyrix patient information leaflet (PIL).