Immunoglobulin Therapy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Immunoglobulin Therapy?

Immunoglobulins are special proteins in the blood that fight infections. Some of our white blood cells make them. They are also known as antibodies. Antibodies are important for the immune system. In immunoglobulin therapy (IVIg), extra immunoglobulins from a donor are injected into your blood.

Immune System
Immune System
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It is used to treat disorders of the immune system, such as:

  • Autoimmune disease—the body begins to attack its own cells
  • Immunodeficiency—low-functioning immune system
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Other diseases that weaken the immune system

IVIg can also reduce inflammation in the body. Some conditions, including acute infections, may need IVIg to restore antibodies and boost the immune system.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have IVIg, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Headache
  • Infection
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Damage to the kidneys
  • Blood clots
  • Allergic reaction to the IVIg

Call Your Doctor

As with the introduction of any foreign substance or chemical to the body, the possibility of allergic reaction exists. If you experience any of the following symptoms of anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction), you should call the doctor immediately:

  • Wheezing and/or difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Slurred or abnormal speech
  • Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations, weak or rapid pulse
  • Blue tint to the skin, lips,...
 
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