IVIG infusion: uses, procedures, side effects
If you have an immune deficiency associated with certain infections, inflammatory conditions, or autoimmune disorders, you may have heard of an infusion treatment called intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG.
This therapy is primarily designed for situations where you may not have enough antibodies. An IVIG can also be used if your Condition not responding to immunosuppressive drugs.
IVIG is used for several diseases, but this treatment also has its own side effects and risks to consider. Read on to learn more about the benefits and possible downsides of IVIG and what it’s like to receive an IVIG infusion.
IVIG is a therapy used to treat antibody deficiencies associated with a variety of inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases. It is made from antibodies called immunoglobulins, which your immune system normally makes to fight off infection.
The immunoglobulins in IVIG infusions are derived from thousands healthy blood plasma donations. These IVs are also cleaned, increasing the chance of contracting blood-borne diseases from donors very low.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of IVIG is that these IVFs work in contrast to immunosuppressants not increase your risk of infection.
IVIG may be subject to availability provided at:
- an infusion center
- a doctor’s office
- an outpatient center
- in a hospital
IVIG is given via a drip through a vein in your arm. It takes about 3 hours to complete each infusion.
Are IVIG infusions painful?
During the infusion process itself is not painful, pain and discomfort may occur when the needle is inserted into the vein in your arm. Talk to your doctor if you’ve had needle problems in the past.
How many infusions do you need?
The number of sessions you need depends on what you are being treated for. A once An IV fluid may be required to treat Kawasaki disease, but most other conditions require average one to five infusions per month.
When determining the dosage, your doctor will take into account both your body weight and the condition being treated. In most cases, IVIG doses consist of 2 g/kg per session for 2 to 5 days in a row.
How long does it take to see results and how long do they last?
When undergoing IVIG treatment it is important to be patient as it may be necessary some weeks to see the full effect. If IVIG infusions work for your condition, the positive effects may last up to a few months at a time.
That is appreciated
However, most people Those taking IVIG do well with these infusions and may experience only mild side effects, such as:
- Skin irritation at the infusion site
- Muscle cramp
To minimize these side effects, your doctor may recommend taking antihistamines or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Rare but serious side effects
A rare but serious A side effect of IVIG therapy is a type of non-infection-related encephalitis called aseptic meningitis. To minimize the risk of meningitis, consult your doctor can recommend that you:
- Stay hydrated before, during and after each treatment
- are taking steroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen
- take diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Other risk factors to consider contain:
The risk of serious side effects may also be greater in older adults.
Call your doctor at once if you or a loved one experience any of the side effects following symptoms after receiving an IVIG infusion:
- difficulty breathing
- severe, worsening skin rash
- high fever
- severe headache with neck stiffness
- nausea and vomiting
- tightness in the chest
IVIG infusions may not be suitable for everyone due to side effects, comorbidities, or lack of effectiveness.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of IVIG, as well as possible alternatives to these IVs. Alternative treatments may include:
- subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG)composed of immunoglobulin administered under the skin instead of intravenously
- immunosuppressive drugs, such as Steroids, biologics and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors to keep your immune system from attacking itself
helpSuppress your immune system and fight infection
IVIG infusions help provide your immune system with the antibodies it needs to fight off infection. IVIG infusions can also help reduce inflammation and suppress immune system attacks on healthy cells.
Although IVIG infusions are well tolerated by most people, they still carry a risk of side effects that you should discuss thoroughly with your doctor. In addition, it is important that you tell your doctor about any side effects you experience during or after being given an IVIG infusion.
IVIG infusions can work well in some cases, but there are other alternatives to consider and discuss with your doctor.