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HepaGam B to prevent hepatitis B reinfection in liver transplant patients, FDA approved

The FDA ( Food and Drug Administration ) has announced the approval of HepaGam B for the prevention of hepatitis B reinfection in certain liver transplant patients.

HepaGam B is an immune globulin product.

Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver and can cause lifelong infection, liver cancer, liver failure and death. Liver transplant patients who have already been exposed to the hepatitis B virus ( HBV ) are at an increased risk of reinfection because they have weakened immune systems.

HepaGam B works by providing an immediate immune response to the virus. This immunity protects patients previously exposed to HBV. Patients must receive injections at the time of their liver transplant and throughout their lives. This product is manufactured from human plasma.

FDA based its approval on the clinical data in a study of HBV-infected persons undergoing full liver transplants, which showed a reduction in the virus recurrence rate from 86 percent to about 13 percent. Adverse reactions were similar to other immune globulin products for other indications and included headache and hypertension.

In January 2006, FDA licensed HepaGam B to prevent infection with HBV for the following other purposes: after acute exposure to blood or certain body fluids containing HBV; perinatal exposure of infants to mothers previously exposed to HBV; sexual exposure to persons previously exposed to HBV; and household exposure to persons with acute HBV infection.

Source: FDA, 2007