What You Should Know About Immunoglobulin Therapy (I.V.I.G.)

What You Should Know About Immunoglobulin Therapy

Immunoglobulin therapy, also known as Intravenous Immunoglobulin (I.V.I.G.), is a medical treatment that has been used for more than 60 years to treat a wide range of autoimmune diseases, immune deficiencies, and other conditions. I.V.I.G. is made from the blood of thousands of healthy donors and contains high concentrations of antibodies that can help fight infections and boost the immune system. This blog will explore what you should know about immunoglobulin therapy and how it works.

What is Immunoglobulin Therapy?

Immunoglobulin therapy is a treatment that uses antibodies from healthy donors to replace or supplement the antibodies that a patient’s immune system cannot produce on its own. The therapy is administered intravenously, meaning antibodies are delivered directly into the patient’s bloodstream through a vein.

Immunoglobulin therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases: People with primary immunodeficiency diseases have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections. I.V.I.G. can help boost their immune system and prevent infections.
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (C.I.D.P.): C.I.D.P. is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves and causes limb weakness and numbness. I.V.I.G. can help reduce inflammation and improve nerve function.
  • Kawasaki Disease: Kawasaki disease is a rare condition that affects children and causes inflammation in the blood vessels. I.V.I.G. can help reduce inflammation and prevent long-term damage to the heart.
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (G.B.S.): G.B.S. is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves and causes weakness and paralysis. I.V.I.G. can help reduce inflammation and improve nerve function.
  • Multifocal Motor Neuropathy (M.M.N.): M.M.N. is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves and causes muscle weakness and atrophy. I.V.I.G. can help reduce inflammation and improve muscle function.

How Does Immunoglobulin Therapy Work?

Immunoglobulin therapy works by introducing antibodies into the patient’s bloodstream. These antibodies are designed to target specific antigens, which are foreign substances that the immune system recognizes as threats. By introducing these antibodies, I.V.I.G. can help the patient’s immune system fight off infections and other threats more effectively.

In addition to providing antibodies, I.V.I.G. also has other immunomodulatory effects. It can help regulate the immune system by reducing inflammation and suppressing the production of autoantibodies, antibodies that attack the body’s tissues. This can be particularly beneficial for patients with autoimmune diseases.

Potential Side Effects of Immunoglobulin Therapy

Like any medical treatment, I.V.I.G. can have side effects. The most frequently observed side effects of I.V.I.G. include headache, fever, chills, fatigue, and nausea. Typically, these side effects are mild and subside within a few hours or days.

Although rare, more severe side effects can occur, such as anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that can lead to breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, and tongue. Immediate treatment is necessary as it is a medical emergency.

Another potential severe side effect is thrombosis, where blood clots form in the veins, resulting in pain, swelling, and redness in the affected area. Renal failure is also a possible but uncommon side effect of I.V.I.G. that can result from an impact on kidney function.

Learn More about Immunoglobulin Therapy from Cancer and Blood Disorder Treatment Centre

Your doctor is the best source of information when it comes to your healthcare and treatment. Dr. Meelu and the team are dedicated to caring about our patients at the Cancer and Blood Disorder Treatment Center. We understand that I.V.I.G. is continuously developing, and for certain rare conditions, it may not be possible to assess treatment effectiveness without conducting extensive clinical trials. In such rare cases, we collaborate with other hospitals and specialists to ensure we give our patients the best advice and treatment. We are also well-equipped to handle I.V.I.G. treatment. Reach us at 301-638-1007 or fill out the online contact us form for consultation and to book an appointment with a specialist.