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What is IVIG,

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What is IVIG

Intra Venous Immunoglobulin 19 Facts

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1. What is IVIG or Intravenous Immune Globulin?

IVIg is a collection of antibodies called IgG or Immuno Globulin-G

5. How is IVIG administered?

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 hours.

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 treatment given?

IVIg can be given at home, in a doctors clinic or a hospital outpatient unit. Some patients have even taken IVIg at work.

Please continue to page three of IVIgs amazing facts and scientific answers as knowledge is power.

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