Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG)
Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG) is a blood product used to treat autoimmune conditions including diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis), lupus, and myositis. It was first developed in the 1950s and first used to treat autoimmune diseases in the 1980s.
Taking Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG)
IVIG is given by an intravenous infusion (IV) by a trained nurse. Each infusion can take from 2 to 6 hours. How often IVIG infusions are given will be determined by your doctor.
Although some patients can feel better quite quickly after receiving treatment, in others it can take a little longer.
Important Tests and Risks
Patients should have a blood test before starting IVIG to check that their antibody levels (IgA) are not low. They should also have regular blood tests to check blood counts, as well as kidney and liver health.
Patients should call their doctor if they develop a fever after receiving treatment. IVIG is a human blood product and so involves a very small risk of getting an infection. People donating IVIG are carefully screened to lower the risk of infection, and the purification process used to manufacture IVIG eliminates bacteria and inactivates most viruses.