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Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG)

Immune Globulin Blood Product Derivative

Brand names:


Other names:

Asceniv®; Bivigam®; Carimune NF®; Cutaquig®; Cuvitru®; Flebogamma DIF®; GamaSTAN®; Gammagard®; Gammagard S/D Less IgA®; Gammaked®; Gammaplex®; Gamunex-C®; Hizentra®; Hyqvia®; Iveegam®, Octagam®; Panzyga®; Polygam®, Privigen®; Xembify®

Often used for:

Treating very low platelet counts, fighting infections in people with a weak immune system, immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA)

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What is immune globulin?

Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is a medicine used to help fight infections when a person has a weak immune system. IVIG gives your child antibodies that their body is not making. This helps them fight infections.

IVIG can be used to treat certain autoimmune disorders by stopping certain types of cells or proteins from attacking the body.

IVIG is a clear liquid given by IV into a vein or by infusion under the skin over several hours. The infusion starts at a slow rate and gradually increases if there are no side effects. If your child has side effects, the rate may be slowed, or the immune globulin may be stopped. The number of infusions your child gets depends on their condition and how they react to treatment.

Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG) can cause skin irritation. Tell your care team if your child has pain, burning, redness, or swelling around the IV site.

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May be given under the skin (subcutaneous)

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May be given into a muscle by IV

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May be given into a vein by IV

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Possible side effects

Most people have only minor side effects from IVIG. These can include:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Feeling tired
  • Mild muscle, or joint pain
  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Leg or arm swelling, redness, pain, or warmth
  • Later side effects known as serum sickness can happen 1 day or more after the infusion. Symptoms include muscle and joint pain, nausea and vomiting, and skin rash.
  • Allergic reaction - If your child has symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact your health care team right away and take your child to the emergency room. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
    • Rash, hives, or itching
    • Flu-like symptoms such as chills, aches, headache, or fever
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath, coughing, or tightness in the throat
    • Swelling of the face or neck

Not all patients who get IVIG will have these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Report any symptoms or side effects to your doctor or pharmacist. Find more information on side effects.

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Tips for patients and families

Be sure to discuss all questions and instructions with your doctor or pharmacist. 

  • If your child has side effects with immune globulin, the doctor may give them medicine such as Tylenol® or Benadryl® to treat the side effects.
  • Tell the nurse or doctor right away if your child has a fever, rash, pain, chills, or feels short of breath while they are receiving immune globulin.
  • Immune globulin is given by IV over several hours, starting at a slow rate and gradually increasing the rate as long as you do not have side effects. If you have side effects, the rate may be slowed or the immune globulin may be stopped.
  • Let your care team know if your child is on a low-sodium or sodium-free diet.
  • Talk with your doctor before your child gets any vaccines after getting IVIG. Some vaccines may not work as well if given too soon after IVIG.
  • It is important that patients tell the care team if they are sexually active, pregnant, or breastfeeding.