Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Understanding the Side Effects of IVIg
It is no secret that Intravenous Immunoglobin (IVIg) is crucial in supplying antibodies to people with autoimmune disorders. The benefits of the treatment far outweigh any negative side effects, but it is still important to be aware of such effects and to be able to react accordingly.
Possible side effects include:
• Headaches – most common in females who undergo the treatment and have a history of migraines or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
• Muscle Pain
• Flu symptoms – chills, fever or fatigue
• Chest pain
More serious side effects include:
• Aseptic meningitis – the swelling of brain lining resulting in fever and serious headaches
• Thrombotic events – vein or artery obstruction caused by a blood clot
• Renal dysfunction – kidney disease
Luckily, the more common side effects are easily treated. If patients slow down their rate of infusion or use acetaminophen, antihistamines or steroids prior to treatment, then the likelihood of suffering from such effects is greatly decreased. Also, remember to drink plenty of water each day and do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns.
Northwestern University Department of Biochemistry: http://www.biochem.northwestern.edu/holmgren/Glossary/Definitions/Def-R/renal_dysfunction.html
CIDPUSA Foundation: http://www.cidpusa.org/P/ivig.htm