Thursday, April 29, 2010
My sister Kate asked what the IVIG is. Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is a blood product administered intravenously. It contains the pooled IgG (immunoglobulin (antibody) G) extracted from the plasma of over one thousand blood donors. IVIG's effects last between 2 weeks and 3 months. It is used for immune deficient patients who have decreased or abolished antibody production capabilities. In these immune deficient patients, IVIG is administered to maintain adequate antibodies levels to prevent infections and confers a passive immunity. Treatment is given every 3–4 weeks. It takes about 4 hours and I get it on the first Tuesday that starts a new cycle. Because it contains pooled IgG the body can reject it or fight it but there are medications one is given to combat that. The first time I received it I had a reaction but this time they will know better how to premedicate me (or so they tell me). The first time when I had the reaction they had to stop the IV and pump me full of steroids. I turned bright red and my face was so swollen that as a friend of Lisa Grants says, I looked like a sunburned chipmunk. For days after that people kept saying "Well your color is good". I felt like I was on fire!