See why thousands choose our centers as their preferred destination for ongoing care, including IVIG treatments.
IVIG is an infusion therapy that is indicated to treat:
- Moderate to severe Lupus
What is IVIG?
IVIG, also known as Intravenous Immunoglobulin, works by preparing antibodies (immunoglobulins) from plasma, which is collected from thousands of healthy donors. These immunoglobulins are produced by the body in an effort to fight infection.
What is IVIG Used For?
IVIG infusion is used for a variety of conditions, such as Kawasaki’s disease in children, polymyositis, juvenile dermatomyositis, and dermatomyositis. People that have been diagnosed with lupus and also have idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (low platelet counts) may also be candidates for IVIG therapy.
IVIG Infusion Dosage and Administration
The right IVIG dose and frequency are vital to ensuring the treatment is effective. IVIG is administered through a vein in the arm, and the length of infusion time for each IVIG infusion treatment depends on the condition that is being treated and the needs of the particular patient. Some patients will require a single infusion, while others will receive IVIG across multiple encounters – typically occurring from one to five days every month.
The planned clinical course and underlying disease are the typically the determining factors for dosage decisions. Several weeks may pass before the IVIG therapy reaches its full impact on the patient and their condition. The amount of IVIG given is usually based on the patient’s body weight. Generally, the most common option is 2 g/kg, which is administered for either two or five days consecutively.
During the infusion, patients are encouraged to relax and unwind while enjoying the unique amenities offered at IVX Health. Private suites with high-speed WiFi and streaming TV and movie options enable patients to catch up on a favorite show or browse the web. When a patient needs assistance, every suite is equipped with a call button. Simply press the button, and an IVX team member will be right in to assist the patient.
On the day of their IVIG infusion, patients may consider bringing a driver with them as the referring physician may want the patient to refrain from driving.
IVIG Infusion Side Effects
Most people experience only mild IVIG infusion side effects and tolerate IVIG infusion treatment well. Commonly noted IVIG side effects include:
- Muscle aches
Over-the-counter medications are usually recommended for relieving mild symptoms; however, there are rare cases of more severe allergic reactions with IVIG therapy. Aseptic meningitis, which is an inflammation of the brain’s lining that is not caused by infection, can occur with this treatment. Using acetaminophen, steroids, NSAIDs, and staying hydrated can help reduce this potential complication. Additionally, people with specific forms of IgA deficiency may have significant IVIG infusion side effects.
How to Prepare for an IVIG Infusion
Patients should bring their insurance card to their first visit. In addition, if any of the below apply, patients should contact their local IVX Health center prior to their visit:
- Patient has recently been ill.
- Patient has recently been on antibiotics.
- Patient has had a recent surgery or have an upcoming surgery.
- Patient has any changes in insurance.
At the appointment for their first treatment, patients are asked to sign certain documentation, including a Patient Demographics and Medication History Form, an Informed Consent Form, and a Patient Financial Responsibility form, among others. IVX Health encourages all IVIG patients to consider researching eligibility for financial assistance available through the manufacturer or other patient programs.
Patients must inform IVX Health of all the medications and products they take regularly. This list should include prescription and nonprescription medications as well as the prescribed dosage and frequency. If an individual takes herbal products and vitamins, these should be included in the list as well. This information will be captured in the Patient Demographics and Medication History Form.
To prepare for an IVIG infusion, patients should drink plenty of water 24-48 hours before treatment. Avoiding coffee and alcohol during that time is also important.
Patients will need to inform their doctor of all the medications and products they take regularly. This list should include prescription and nonprescription medications as well as dosage amounts and frequency taken, if an individual takes herbal products and vitamins, please include these in the list as well.
To prepare for an IVIG infusion, patients should drink plenty of water in the 24 to 48 hours before the treatment. Avoiding coffee and alcohol during that time is also important.
How to Obtain a Referral for IVIG IV Infusions
Patients need a referral from their doctor for IVIG therapy before an appointment can be scheduled. Information IVX Health needs to ensure attaining the patient referral for IVIG infusions is a quick and seamless process.
Each referral must have:
- An Order for IVIG
- Provider name
- Provider signature (or electronically authenticated signature)
- A therapy-specific order form for IVIG therapy may downloaded on the IVX Health Referrals page
- Patient Demographics
- Patient name
- Phone number
- Insurance information (primary and secondary if applicable)
- Patient weight and height
- The results of the patient’s recent tuberculosis test
- Clinicals to support the patient’s need for treatment, including labs, tests, and other pertinent information
To learn more about treatment with IVIG infusion, find your closest IVX Health center here.
Patients chose IVX Health to receive their ongoing IVIG treatments because:
- ALL private suites
- Comfortable recliners, with chairs for guests
- Evening & weekend appointments
- Friendly clinical staff deliver personal service
- Big screen TVs, high-speed WiFi, free snacks