What is Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy?
IV immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a therapy used to treat patients with decreased or abolished antibody production capabilities. Antibodies are proteins your immune system produces to fight bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. If your body does not make enough antibodies, you are at a higher risk of developing infections.
In this case, you need to receive antibodies from an external source. Intravenous immune globulin therapy can supply your body with the necessary antibodies. Immune globulin is a sterilized solution made from the blood plasma of healthy donors. It contains a diverse collection of antibodies to fight different pathogens that might enter your body.
Indications: Who Should Receive IVIG Therapy?
Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy can help two groups of people:
- In those with an impaired immune system, IV immunoglobulin can be used to provide the antibodies they need to ward off infections.
- In those with autoimmune diseases, immune globulin can help regulate an overactive immune system by slowing it down or stopping processes that cause inflammatory reactions.
Some of the diseases that IVIG therapy can treat include:
- Primary immunodeficiency
- Multifocal motor neuropathy
- Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS)
- People with bone marrow transplants
- Pediatric Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
- Certain blood vessel disorders in patients with Kawasaki syndrome
- Secondary Immunodeficiency in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
- Decreased blood platelet count in patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)
Adults and children with these conditions can benefit from IVIG therapy.
How Does the IV Immunoglobulin Treatment Work?
IVIG products are sterile solutions that contain liquid immunoglobulin, separated from the plasma of healthy blood donors. They are tested and highly purified before being packaged and ready for use.
During intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, immunoglobulin flows from a bag or vial into your veins through a needle attached to your arm. The treatment can take two or more hours, based on the prescribed dose and maximum rate. Depending on the condition you are treating, you may need IVIG every week to every four months. Different IVIG brands are available, but it is best to use the same brand if you are receiving regular treatment.
Possible Side Effects of IVIG Therapy
Most people tolerate IV immunoglobulin well. But some may experience side effects during or after treatment, such as:
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle or joint pains
It’s also possible the solution contains inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions. So it’s important to go over your past medical history and current medications in detail with your doctor to make sure you are eligible for this treatment.
Receive At-Home IVIG Therapy With AmeriPharma
With AmeriPharma Specialty Care, you can receive IVIG therapy from the comfort of your home. We are a URAC accredited and LegitScript certified specialty infusion pharmacy. Our specialized infusion nurses will come to your home to administer your treatment.
Our full-service coordination includes everything from insurance approval to copay assistance so you can focus all your attention on your health. We offer 24/7/365 services in 35+ U.S. states and guide you through the entire treatment process. Contact us now to receive the best specialty care at home.