Important Safety Information
After you take GAMUNEX-C, your blood antibody levels may rise, which could cause some blood antibody tests to give false results. You should talk to your doctor before undergoing any of these tests.
What is the most important information I should know about IVIG?
IVIG — intravenous immunoglobulin — are made from pooled immunoglobulins from the plasma of healthy donors. However, it is purified, significantly reducing the likelihood of contracting a blood-borne infection. As opposed to other forms of medications, it does not increase the risk of infection. It is also considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Do not take IVIG if you are allergic to immunoglobulin, if you’ve had a serious reaction to other medications that contain human immune globulin, or if you have immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency.
IVIG Side Effects
As with any prescription medication, IVIG carries a risk of side effects. The most common ones include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Head or neck pain
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- Chest tightness
- Muscle cramps
- Sore throat
- Loose stools
Other possible side effects include:
IVIG increases the risk of blood clots. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience pain, warmth, swelling, or discoloration of any of your extremities, shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, numbness, or weakness on one side of the body. You are at a higher risk of developing blood clots if you have a history of atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, are elderly, or have a blood clotting disorder.
Tell your doctor immediately if you experience swelling in your legs, shortness of breath, decreased urination, and/or sudden weight gain. Patients at a higher risk of developing kidney disease include those who have a history of kidney conditions, Type II diabetes mellitus, are dehydrated, or older than 65 years of age. Periodic monitoring of kidney function and urine output is particularly important in patients more likely to experience severe kidney disease.
The membrane covering your spinal cord and brain may become inflamed. Talk to your doctor if you experience severe headaches, stiff neck, fever, fatigue, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, or eye pain.
Tell your doctor if you experience any negative side effects. You are also encouraged to report such side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
IVIG therapy is used to treat patients with antibody deficiencies. This includes patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, lupus, gout, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, primary humoral immunodeficiency disease (PIDD), primary immunodeficiency (PI), and spondyloarthropathies, on people two years of age and older.
For patients who are at a higher risk of blood clots, IVIG should be administered at the lowest infusion rate practicable. Patients should also be well hydrated prior to starting treatment.