Wednesday, May 4, 2011


What is IVIG or Intravenous Immune Globulin?

IVIG is a plasma product formed by taking antibodies from about 20,000 donors and mixing them together. Infusion of IVIG has proven effective in several immune deficiency disorders, including nearly all autoimmune conditions. The sooner you treat the patient with IVIG the better the results.

How does IVIG work?

IVIG is used in immune deficiency where the body does not make enough antibodies, IVIG supplies them.

Why is IVIG so expensive?

IVIG is obtained from plasma donors who are paid. Then the plasma is sent to a processing centers for mixing, antibody removal, chemical treatment and filtration to remove viruses. This is followed by the products to be freeze dried. All this ends up for IVIG to be priced at $ 48 to $ 60 a gram (cost price of IVIG). A single infusion of IVIg may cost about $3000 for a child to $10,000 for adults.

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.

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.

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