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How Long Does IVIG Take to Work?

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Doctor consulting with patient about how long IVIG takes to work

You will most likely experience improvements in your symptoms within several days to weeks after receiving IVIG therapy. 


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What Is IVIG?

IVIG, or intravenous immunoglobulin, is a medication containing antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that help you fight against infections. IVIG is typically given as an infusion through your vein (intravenously), but some brands can also be given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneously). 

IVIG is commonly used to treat certain diseases of the nerves and muscles, including:


How Long Does IVIG Take To Work?

It is difficult to know for sure. However, experience and research show that most people can start to feel better within a few days to weeks after the first treatment. However, not everyone responds to IVIG treatment. People are categorized into two types: Responders and nonresponders. 

One study shows that 6 in 10 people with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy respond to IVIG treatment [1].

On the other hand, 8 in 10 people with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) respond to IVIG [2]. 

In those who respond, the time it takes for IVIG to work depends on several factors, such as:

Specific IVIG Brand

IVIG products are unique and not interchangeable. Each product has its own unique properties, which affect how it is absorbed, processed, and removed from the body. Consequently, these factors determine how long IVIG takes to work. 

Condition Being Treated

The condition you are taking IVIG for also determines how long IVIG takes to work. For example, IVIG raises the platelet count in immune thrombocytopenia within 4 days. But some people may respond within 24 hours [2].

On the other hand, for myasthenia gravis, IVIG can take up to 4 weeks to show its effects [3].

Patient Factors

Because each person is different, their response to IVIG or any other treatment varies greatly.  Their general well-being and the presence of certain diseases, particularly liver and kidney disorders, determine how soon their symptoms improve. 

Concomitant Use of Other Medications

How soon you can expect to feel better may depend on whether you are taking IVIG alone or with other medications. One medication can affect how your body processes the other, which can affect how quickly or how well IVIG works. 


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How Can You Tell if IVIG Is Working?

3D illustration of human antibodies While subjective experience of well-being is a strong indicator to tell if IVIG is working, several other objective indicators do the same, perhaps in a more reliable way. These include:

  • Disease symptom score
  • Number of relapses in a particular period 
  • Laboratory findings
  • Frequency of flare-ups


What Is the Response Rate of IVIG?

The response rate of IVIG can vary depending on a specific disease or dose. For example, the response rate is 60% in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) and 80% in people with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). 


How Often Should IVIG Be Given?

IVIG doses are typically given every 21 to 28 days (3 to 4 weeks). Sometimes, a single dose may suffice. However, your healthcare provider will ultimately decide how often you should receive IVIG based on your condition and symptoms.


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  1. Cornblath, David R et al. “Randomized trial of three IVIg doses for treating chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.” Brain : a journal of neurology vol. 145,3 (2022): 887-896. doi:10.1093/brain/awab422
  2. HaemSTAR Collaborators. “A single 1 g/kg dose of intravenous immunoglobulin is a safe and effective treatment for immune thrombocytopenia; results of the first HaemSTAR ‘Flash-Mob’ retrospective study incorporating 961 patients.” British journal of haematology vol. 196,2 (2022): 433-437. doi:10.1111/bjh.17692
  3. NHS Intravenous Immunoglobulin in Myasthenia Gravis. 

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