Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a type of medicine made from
donated blood plasma. IVIG is made of certain antibodies that
fight bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other substances that can cause disease.
Some types of IVIG can be used to reduce the risk of infection in
people who have too few antibodies to
effectively fight infections because of a weakened immune system. Other types can be used to prevent infection in people who may have been exposed to a disease-causing virus, such as the hepatitis A virus. Another type of IVIG is used in babies born
prematurely who are at risk of complications from respiratory syncytial virus
(RSV) infection. IVIG can also be used as treatment for immune system problems that were present at birth (congenital immunodeficiency). And IVIG can be used to prevent problems that Rh incompatibility can cause in a fetus.
Because immunoglobulin is made from donated blood, it is sometimes in
short supply. It is also very expensive.
February 15, 2012
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
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