immune globulin - intravenous, Gamimune N, Gammagard, Gammar, (cont.)
USES: This medication is used to strengthen the body's natural defense system (immune system) to lower the risk of infection in persons with a weakened immune system. This medication is made from healthy human blood that has a high level of certain defensive substances (antibodies), which help fight infections. It is also used to increase the blood count (platelets) in persons with a certain blood disorder (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura-ITP). Platelets are needed to stop bleeding and form blood clots.
HOW TO USE: This medication is given by slow infusion into a vein as directed by your doctor.Your health care professional will start the medication slowly while monitoring you closely. If you have few or no side effects, the medication will be given faster. Tell your health care professional immediately if you experience any side effects such as flushing, chills, muscle cramps, back/joint pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. The infusion may need to be stopped or given more slowly.The dosage and frequency depends on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. For immune system problems, this medication is usually given once every 3 to 4 weeks. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder. For blood problems (ITP), this medication may be given daily for 1 to 5 days the first time, with maintenance doses usually given one at a time based on your platelet count.If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Keep all your medical/lab appointments.
SIDE EFFECTS: Flushing, headache, dizziness, chills, muscle cramps, back/joint pain, fever, nausea, or vomiting may occur. Tell your doctor or other health care professional immediately if any of these effects occur, persist, or worsen. Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site may also occur. If these effects continue or become bothersome, tell your doctor.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual tiredness.This medication may rarely cause blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you are severely dehydrated, or have a history of blood clots, heart/blood vessel disease, heart failure, stroke, or if you are immobile (such as very long plane flights or bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. Before using this medication, if you have any of these conditions report them to your doctor or pharmacist. Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes.Rarely, this product may contain substances that could cause infections because it is made from human blood. Though the risk is very low due to careful screening of blood donors, discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop any signs of infection such as persistent sore throat/fever, yellowing eyes/skin, or dark urine.Treatment with this medication may rarely cause a serious inflammation of the brain (aseptic meningitis syndrome) several hours to 2 days after your treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop severe headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, high fever, sensitivity to light, eye pain, or severe nausea/vomiting.Lung problems may rarely occur 1 to 6 hours after your treatment. You will be monitored closely for any lung problems after your treatment.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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