Immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) may cause kidney failure. Tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old or if you have or have ever had kidney disease, diabetes, sepsis, plasma cell disease, or volume depletion. Tell your doctor if you are taking amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), streptomycin, or other medications that can cause kidney damage. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to IGIV. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: decreased urination, sudden weight gain, swelling of the legs or ankles, or shortness of breath.
About your treatment
Your doctor has ordered IGIV. The drug may be given alone or added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein for 2 to 4 hours, once a day for 2 to 7 days. You will receive another single dose every 10 to 21 days or every 3 to 4 weeks, depending on your condition.
IGIV boosts the body's natural response in patients with compromised immune systems [e.g., patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and premature babies]. It also increases the number of platelets (part of the blood) in patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
Before administering IGIV,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, antibiotics, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking IGIV, call your doctor.
- tell your doctor if you had a vaccine for measles, mumps, or rubella in the last 3 months.
Administering your medication
Before you administer IGIV, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.
IGIV may cause side effects. Tell your health care provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- joint or muscle pain
- general feeling of discomfort
- leg cramps
- pain at the injection site
If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your health care provider immediately:
- chest tightness
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- redness of the face
- upset stomach
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Storing your medication
- Your health care provider probably will give you a 1-day supply of IGIV at a time. Depending on the product you receive, you may be told to store it in the refrigerator.
- If you store IGIV in the refrigerator, take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.
- Do not allow IGIV to freeze.
Your health care provider may provide you with directions on how to prepare each dose.
Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Signs of infection
If you are receiving IGIV in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:
- Carimune® NF
- Flebogamma® 5%
- Gammagard® S/D
- Gamunex® 10%
- Iveegam® EN
- Octagam® 5%
- Polygam® S/D