Special Health Search
1. What is IVIG or
Intravenous Immune Globulin?
IVIg is a collection of antibodies called IgG or Immuno
5. How is IVIG
IVIG is mixed in a bag
and a tube runs from it to a vein usually in the arm. The
recommended way to infuse includes a pump. Usually IVIg is
infused at a rate of 100 cc/ hour to 200 cc/ hour.
The rate of IVIg is reduced for any problems such as
headaches, rash, fatigue, hypertension or hypotension. For
an adult's IVIg infusion is usually given over 5 to 6
What are the common side effects OF IVIG?
IVIg at times causes patients to get a headache, which is
more common in females with a history of Migraines. after IVIg infusion some Patients may experience fatigue similar
to getting a Flu, which is due to antibodies interaction.
IVIg may also cause to patients get a rash and doctors
recommended they take Benadryl or even steroids to avoid
this. Remember their are a lot of antibodies and some may
result in odd reactions. Stroke or heart attack can
happen after IVIg if the IVIg solution is pumped in at a
fast rate. In the past when sucrose was used as a stabliser Kidney failre would result this is not a issue with modern IVIG.
A severe headache with a stiff
neck after IVIg may be due to aseptic meningitis.
Variation in blood pressure, shortness of breath, back pain
can also be seen after IVIg infusion. Serious conditions
like encephalitis, myocarditis have been seen.
7. How can one reduce the side effects of IVIG?
Remember to drink eight glasses of water a day for
hydration before starting the IVIg treatment and continuing
this a month after the last IVIg infusion. Some doctors
recommend to take a baby aspirin to prevent
thrombophelebitis. Patients need to check with their doctors
if they can use aspirin and should not take this if
they are on coumadine or have bleeding disorders or if they
have a history of gastric ulcers. Doctors use
Premedication to help reduce side effects. Some
recommend that one should take Tylenol or other NSAID for
prevention of headaches and pains. Use a benadryl capsule
for a rash and even to relax during the treatment. Using low
dose prednisone will reduce side effects like headaches.
8. Where is the IVIG
IVIg can be given at home, in a doctors clinic or a hospital
outpatient unit. Some patients have even taken IVIg at work.
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