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IVIG (Intravenous immunoglobulin)

This therapy can help people with weakened immune systems or other diseases fight off infections.

Some of the diseases that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) can treat include:

Due to complications that often arise from in-home infusion and subsequent nursing issues, and to improve patient  outcome of signs or symptoms post infusionDr. Frid offers IVIg treatment in her office only under her supervision.  

Why Is It Used?

Some people may take IVIg instead of other medications (such as immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, or biologic drugs) to help treat their immune system disorders. In some cases, you may take IVIg along with immunosuppressants or other meds.

One reason you might need Ig is if your body does not make enough antibodies. The medical name for this is immunodeficiency. The Ig provides extra antibodies that your body cannot make on its own. The antibodies usually last for several weeks and help your body fight off a large variety of infections. Another reason you might need Ig is if your immune system has started attacking your body's normal cells. 

Who Can Get It?

Both children and adults can have this therapy.

How Does It Work?

Immunoglobulin is part of your blood’s plasma. It has antibodies in it to fight germs or disease. When people donate blood, this part can be separated out. Then it can be given to you through a vein in your arm, or IV. If you get IVIg, it can help strengthen your immune system so you can fight infections and stay healthy.

Liquid immunoglobulin is taken from the blood plasma of donors who are screened to make sure they are healthy. The plasma is tested for serious infections like hepatitis and AIDS. The plasma is purified before it's used for IVIg therapy.

During the therapy, prepared immunoglobulin is infused into your veins. Then the medicine can flow from a bag through a tube into your arm. This takes about 5 to 9 hours.

Typically you'll have treatments every 3 to 4 weeks to keep your immune system strong. Your blood may break down about half of the immunoglobulin over that period, so you'll need another dose to keep fighting infections. During the infusion, the nursing staff will carefully observe you or your child for any side-effects.

What Are the Possible Reaction / Side Effect?

Most people tolerate IVIg well but  some patients have reactions to IVIG. Most reactions or problems occur during the infusion. Sometimes, patients may have a problem later on, within the first three days.

  • Signs or symptoms that may occur during the infusion and up to 3 days after include:

    • fever less than 101°F,

    • hives or rash,

    • mild headache,

    • nausea and/or vomiting,

    • muscle and joint pain, and

    • fatigue (more tired than usual).

  • There is a small chance that you or your child will have a severe allergic

        reaction to IVIG. If that happens the IVIG is stopped. Medications to treat

        allergic reactions are given immediately.

To minimize and improve patient outcome of signs or symptoms post infusion, Dr. Frid offers IVIg treatment in her office only under her supervision.