An Overview of the Side Effects of IVIG Treatment
IVIG stands for intravenous immunoglobulin, which are sterile treatments made from a purified human plasma pool.
The overall objective of this form of therapy is restoring patients’ immunity to allow them to lead an ordinary life.
The treatments are usually administered once in three or four weeks in an infusion center, hospital, a patient’s home or a physician’s office.
It is essential for one to understand IVIG treatment side effects before beginning the procedure.
Below is a highlight of the most common mild and acute reactions to the treatment.
• Benefits of the treatment
IVIG is one of the safest and successful forms of treating autoimmune diseases, which arise when part of the body’s immune system attacks one or more body organs.
While the cause of these disorders is unknown, IVIG has antibodies that play the role of blocking this attack.
The most popular types of autoimmune diseases in question include multiple sclerosis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis and multifocal motor neuropathy.
• The mild to moderate side effects
Some of the mild adverse effects of IVIG treatment include flushing, headache, wheezing, myalgia, lower back pain, tachycardia, low blood pressure, and nausea.
Patients may also experience migraines, which can be extremely painful. Antihistamines and steroids administered before and after IVIG infusion can aid in the prevention of headaches and migraines.
Additionally, patients can alleviate such discomforts by hydrating during and after therapy.
• Serious adverse effects
Acute adverse reactions to IVIG treatment are rare, with the majority of them minimized by screening patients to identify the predisposing factors.
These effects include thrombosis, acute renal failure, serum sickness, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, anaphylaxis, and aseptic meningitis.
A severe type of a headache arises from meningitis, and patients with a migraines history are the most susceptible.
Symptoms occur a few hours following treatment but may manifest even two days later.
They may include sensitivity to light, severe headache, fever, vomiting, issues with eye movement and nausea. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening and rapidly progressing allergic reaction, which is a common serious adverse effect. A physician may administer antihistamines and corticosteroids to counter this effect.
Extremely severe cases may necessitate the use of epinephrine.
• Benefits versus risks
The benefits of IVIG clearly outweigh its risk since this is one of the safest treatment products available. IVIG treatment side effects are rare and manageable.
Virtually all the adverse reactions mentioned are controllable, and patients can eliminate them altogether.
Slow infusion is also an effective way of preventing or minimizing the symptoms related to therapy.
With the increasing number of conditions currently treated with IVIG, patient safety and well-being are a surety.