What are common adverse effects from intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and how are they prevented?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Undesirable effects from IVIG are reported to occur in up to 5 to 15 percent of all IVIG infusions and to affect 20 to 50 percent of individuals receiving IVIG. Most of these are mild, reversible, and transient. The most common adverse effects occur soon after infusions and can include headache, flushing, chills, myalgia, wheezing, tachycardia, lower back pain, nausea, and hypotension. If this happens during an infusion, the infusion should be slowed or stopped. If symptoms are anticipated, a patient can be pre-medicated with antihistamines and intravenous hydrocortisone. The risk of adverse reactions generally correlates with the dose of IVIG and the rate of the infusion.


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