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Publication Date: May 2001
Revised September 2006
Lupus: A Patient Care Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals
Patient Information Sheet #20, Intravenous Immunoglobulins (IVIGs)
Intravenous immunoglobulins or IVIGs are proteins in the blood plasma that act as antibodies. The immunoglobulins your doctor will give you are pooled from blood donors who have been screened for blood-borne diseases. They have also gone through a cleaning process to ensure they are not contaminated.
Immunoglobulins can be used to treat organ involvement with lupus or vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels).
IVIGs are always infused in an outpatient infusion center, so you won’t have to fill a prescription at your local pharmacy or remember to take the medication at home. But it is important to understand what to expect from the procedure in order to make the most of it and minimize side effects.
Infusions may last from a few hours to all day, depending on your individual response.