Immunoglobulin (IG) for Hepatitis A
The hepatitis A IG is given by injection into a muscle (intramuscular injection).
How It Works
Immunoglobulin (IG) contains antibodies that destroy the hepatitis A virus (HAV), preventing infection.
Why It Is Used
IG should be given to unvaccinated people at risk of infection with HAV, including:
How Well It Works
If given within 2 weeks of exposure to the virus, immunoglobulin (IG) is more than 85% effective in preventing hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection.1
Immunoglobulin has been effective in controlling some outbreaks of HAV.
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Immunoglobulin (IG) is a safe, inexpensive, and effective means of preventing the spread of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection.
The sooner you get a shot of IG after being exposed to HAV, the greater the likelihood that infection will be prevented.
IG protection is only temporary, lasting about 3 months. If you are planning to stay longer than 3 months in an area where hepatitis A is a problem, you should receive a higher initial dose of IG. You should receive the same higher dose of IG every 3 to 5 months while you are still at risk. Or you could get the hepatitis A vaccine and then would not need to get hepatitis A IG.
IG is prepared from blood products obtained from paid donors. In the United States, no cases of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) through IG have been reported. The safety of IG prepared in countries other than the U.S. cannot be guaranteed.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Advice for women
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
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