Immune Globulin (i-MUNE GLOB-ue-lin)
Treats problems with your immune system. Helps prevent infections or makes the infection less severe. Treats disorders that involve the muscle and nervous systems. Also used to improve muscle strength and disability in certain patients.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Bivigam, Carimune NF, Flebogamma, Flebogamma 10% DIF, Flebogamma 5%, Flebogamma 5% DIF, GamaSTAN S/D, Gammagard Liquid, Gammagard S/D, Gammagard S/D (IgA<1ug/ml), Gammaked, Gammaplex, Gamunex, Gamunex-C, Octagam
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to human immune globulin, or if you have an immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency with antibodies against IgA and a history of hypersensitivity.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin, into a muscle, or into a vein.
- A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
- If you will give this medicine to yourself at home, your health caregiver will show you how to use the medicine and where to give yourself the injections. Make sure you understand all instructions.
- Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
- Allow this medicine to reach room temperature before using it.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
- Call your doctor, pharmacist, or home health caregiver for instructions.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- If you store this medicine at home, ask your pharmacist or health caregiver how to store it. Some brands should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Other brands must be stored in the refrigerator.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine, containers, and other supplies. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any medicine you use that affects your kidneys. Tell your doctor if you are also using heparin.
- Talk to your doctor before you get any vaccine while you are receiving immune globulin. Some vaccines may not work as well while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, diabetes, hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood), or a recent serious infection. Tell your doctor if you have an allergy, including to latex, or if you have other problems with your immune system.
- Make sure your doctor knows about any heart disease or blood, circulation, or blood clotting problems that you have. Blood clots and heart attacks have happened in some patients. Tell your doctor if you have atherosclerosis, a history of heart attack or stroke, anemia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), or protein problems such as paraproteinemia or hyperproteinemia. Your may have a higher risk if you are obese, use estrogen medicine, have diabetes, or must stay in bed for a long time because of surgery or illness.
- This medicine may cause fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting, especially when you receive it for the first time or if you have not received it for more than 8 weeks. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms.
- Call your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms that concern you, such as a fever, trouble breathing, less urine than usual, dark urine, unusual tiredness, severe pain, swelling, or fast heartbeat. Rarely, this medicine may cause serious problems with your kidneys or blood.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a severe headache, especially if you also have nausea or vomiting, and if you have a stiff neck, eye pain, or your eyes are sensitive to light. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called aseptic meningitis syndrome (AMS). This may begin as long as 2 days after treatment.
- Call your doctor right away if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, and fever. Also call if your lips or hands turn blue or darker than normal. These may be signs of a serious lung problem. This may begin within 6 hours after your infusion.
- This medicine is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted viruses, although the risk is low. Human donors and donated blood are both tested for viruses to keep the transmission risk low. Talk with your doctor about this risk if you are concerned.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Change in how much or how often you urinate
- Chills, cough, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting during the infusion
- Confusion, weakness, muscle twitching
- Dark, red, or brown urine
- Fast, slow, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lightheadedness, dizziness
- Pain in your lower leg (calf), numbness or weakness in your arm or leg or on one side of your body
- Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
- Severe back, stomach, chest, or side pain
- Stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, eye pain, eye sensitivity to light
- Sudden or severe headache, problems with vision, speech, or walking
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
- Yellow skin or eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Diarrhea, stomach pain or upset
- Low fever
- Mild back, joint, or muscle pain
- Mild headache or pain
- Pain, itching, burning, redness, swelling, warmth, or a lump under your skin where the shot is given
- Rash or itching skin
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Warmth or redness in the face, neck, arms, or upper chest