Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B 

Hepatitis B is a contagious disease that can cause long-lasting liver damage.

The Hepatitis B viris is transmitted when blood or other body fluids of an infected person enter somebody else. This can happen by sharing needles, sexual contact or during pregnancy and delivery when the mother is infected. 

Hepatitis B cannot be transitted by coughing, sneezing or consuming contaminated food and drink. 

Most people infected as adults clear the virus from their body within 6 months and do not devleop long-term liver damage. 


Symptoms of Hepatitis B 

Symptoms usually begin 2-3 months after infection and can persist for 6 weeks to 6 months. These may include: 

  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) 
  • dark urine 
  • extreme fatigue 
  • fever, nausea and vomiting 
  • muscle, joint and abodminal pain 
  • loss of appetite 
  • rashes 

A blood test can confirm if you are infected with Hepatitis B. 



There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis B. Treatment aims to maintain good health but can not cure the disease. 

It is important to protect your liver by: 

  • avoiding alcohol 
  • check with your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you are currently taking 



The best protection against Hepatitis B is vaccination. 

Other ways to prevent the spread if you are infected include: 

  • vaccination of close contacts (family members and sexual contacts)
  • practise safe sex (condoms) until sexual contacts are fully vaccinated and immune
  • do not donate blood, organs or body tissue
  • do not allow your blood to contact another person (cover cuts, clean blood spills with bleach)
  • inform healthcare workers (including dentists)
  • if your work involves potential for your blood or other body fluid to spread to other people, discuss this with your doctor

There are treatments for pregnant women with Hepatits B to reduce transmission risk to the baby. 


Hepatitis B Vaccination 

The Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given in three doses over a 6 month period. Only 1 dose is recommended for those aged 9-25 who are already immunocompetent. A serology test can determine if you are immune from previous vaccination or reqauire an additional dose/s. 

The Hepatitis B vaccine provides protection for 95 in 100 vaccinated. 

There is no live virus in the Hepatitis B vaccine, so you cannot get infected and they are safe for immunocompromised individuals. 

Can I get the vaccination if I'm pregnant? The Hepatitis B vaccine is not routinely recommended for pregnant women. However, susceptible pregnant women can receive the vaccine if it would otherwise be recommended. Please speak to your doctor. 


Adverse Effects of Vaccination 

Side effects after Hepatitis B vaccination are minor and temporary. Some may experience: 

  • soreness at the injection site 
  • low grade fever 
  • nausea 
  • dizziness 
  • muscle aches and joint pain 








Bellambi Drive Thru Pharmacy

Come visit Bellambi Drive Thru Pharmacy! We have made social distancing possible with our Drive Thru Service. A contactless and convenient way to order and collect all your health-care needs. You can pre-order using our website or the MedAdvisor App. This way your order is ready for you to collect. Try it out!