How replacement therapy is changing healthcare today.
Edie Williamson, M.S.N., R.N., ARJ’s Director of Nursing, discusses IVIg
replacement therapy—and how it can improve patients’ quality of life.
What is IVIg?
IVIg—short for intravenous immune globulin—refers to highly purified antibodies that are separated from the plasma of healthy human donors. It’s often recommended as a treatment option for people with autoimmune disorders or immune deficiencies.
What’s the difference between an autoimmune disorder and an immune deficiency?
Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, whereas immune deficiencies are the result of an improperly functioning immune system.
How does the IVIg treatment process work?
IVIg is administered intravenously. Infusions are usually given once every three to four weeks, but can vary depending on the person’s diagnosis, age, health history, and prescriber preference.
Are there any side effects?
Most patients tolerate IVIg infusions quite well. The most common side effects include headache, occasional body aches, or tiredness.
How can patients manage side effects?
Proper hydration is one of the best ways to manage the side effects that people sometimes experience with IVIg therapy. Timing is also important. ARJ’s nursing and pharmacy teams closely monitor our patients’ response to treatment, and will adjust the length of infusion time to minimize side effects when necessary.
Is IVIg truly changing people’s lives?
It’s an amazing treatment! I’ve witnessed many dramatic improvements in patients’ lives through the support of IVIg therapy.