Intravenously administered immunoglobulin (sometimes called IVIG) contain antibodies collected from the plasma of healthy donors.
How is IVIG administered?
IVIG is given intravenously, which means through a needle directly into a vein. Your doctor will determine the correct dosage, based on a number of individual factors, including your weight and diagnosis.
IVIG can be administered in a hospital/outpatient unit, infusion center, or your home. A typical IV IgG infusion takes 2-4 hours, although some patients may require slower infusions to reduce the risk of side effects. 1
How often do PI patients get IVIG infusions?
IVIG replaces antibodies the body should be making, but does not help the patient’s own immune system make more, so repeat doses are needed, usually every 3 to 4 weeks.1
Are all IVIGs the same?
There are some differences in IVIG brand formulas that may make one product more suitable for you than another. Your doctor can help you determine which brand is best for you.1
Is IVIG appropriate for all patients?
IVIG might be appropriate for some patients:2
- Who feel uncomfortable with IgG self-administration and using needles
- Who want to reduce the risk of temporary local infusion site reactions
- Who prefer their care delivered by a professional nurse
- Who like the social aspects of an IVIG setting
- Who find it more convenient to spend half a day once a month to a scheduled IVIG appointment
- Who have physical limitations that might interfere with self infusion, such as arthritis of the fingers
Your doctor will determine if intravenous infusion is right for you
- Blaese RM, Winkelstein J. Patient & Family Handbook for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. Towson, MD: Immune Deficiency Foundation; 2007
- Orange J. Clinical Focus on Primary Immunodeficiencies: Clinical Update in Immunoglobulin Therapy for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. Issue 14. Towson, MD: Immune Deficiency Foundation, Mar 2011.