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immune globulin (intravenous and subcutaneous) (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking immune globulin (Gammagard, Gammaked, Gamunex-C)?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an immune globulin, or if you have immune globulin A (IgA) deficiency with antibody to IgA.

To make sure you can safely use immune globulin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • heart disease;
  • diabetes;
  • a serious infection called sepsis;
  • hyperproteinemia (high level of a certain amino acid in the blood);
  • a condition called paraproteinemia (abnormal proteins in the blood);
  • blood circulation problems or a blood vessel disorder;
  • a history of stroke or blood clot;
  • if you are on a low salt diet or you take diuretics (water pills);
  • if you have a prolonged illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting;
  • if you are 65 years or older; or
  • if you have been bed-ridden due to severe illness.

You may need a dose adjustment if you are exposed to measles, or if you travel to an area where this disease is common.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether immune globulin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether immune globulin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Immune globulin is made from human plasma (part of the blood) which may contain viruses and other infectious agents. Donated plasma is tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

How should I use immune globulin (Gammagard, Gammaked, Gamunex-C)?

Immune globulin is injected into a vein through an IV, or injected under the skin using an infusion pump. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

How you give this medication, how often you receive it, and the length of your infusion time will depend on the condition being treated. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Do not inject immune globulin into a vein if you have been instructed to give the medicine as a subcutaneous injection (under the skin).

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Immune globulin must be given slowly. You may need to use several catheters to inject this medicine into different body areas at the same time. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject the medication. Follow your doctor's instructions. Keep a diary of the days and times you gave the injection and where you injected it on your body.

Do not shake the medication bottle or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not mix immune globulin with other medications in the same infusion. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors, looks cloudy, or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use disposable injection items (needle, catheter, tubing) only once. Throw away the used items in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using immune globulin.

Each single use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Store this medicine in its original carton in the refrigerator. Do not freeze immune globulin, and throw away the medication if it has become frozen.

You may take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature 1 hour before preparing your dose. Do not heat the medicine before using.

You may also store immune globulin for up to 6 months at room temperature. Keep away from moisture and heat.

Throw away any unused immune globulin after the expiration date on the label has passed.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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