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What is the most important information i should know about immune globulin (hizentra, vivaglobin)?
You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to an immune globulin, if you have immune globulin A (IgA) deficiency with antibody to IgA, or if you have a condition called hyperprolinemia (high level of a certain amino acid in the blood).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have blood circulation problems or a blood vessel disorder, a history of stroke or blood clot, or if you have been bed-ridden due to severe illness.
Immune globulin is usually given once every week. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.
Subcutaneous immune globulin is for injection only under the skin. Do not inject this medicine into a vein.
If you use this medication at home, keep a diary of the days and times you used the medication and where you injected it on your body.
You may need a dose adjustment if you are exposed to measles, or if you travel to an area where this disease is common.
Before Using Vivaglobin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of immune globulin injection in children. Some of the products are only used in children who are 2 or 3 years of age and older, and other products are not approved for use in children. Immune globulin injection is used to treat primary humoral immunodeficiency (PI), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), and chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura in children. Safety and efficacy have not been established for use in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) or multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN).
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of immune globulin injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related blood clotting problems, kidney disease, or heart disease, which may require caution for patients receiving immune globulin injection.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Allergy to corn—Use with caution. May cause an allergic reaction to occur again.
- Anemia, history of or
- Bleeding problems, history of or
- Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
- Kidney problems—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), history of or
- Blood clotting problems, history of or
- Diabetes or
- Heart attack or stroke, recent or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyperproteinemia (high protein in the blood) or
- Hyperviscosity (thick blood), known or suspected or
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume or major loss of body fluids) or
- IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency with antibodies against IgA or
- Paraproteinemia (paraproteins in the blood) or
- Sepsis (serious infection in the body)—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Hereditary intolerance to fructose or sucrose or
- IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency with antibodies against IgA—Gammaplex® should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Hyperprolinemia (too much proline in the blood) or
- IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency with antibodies against IgA—Hizentra® should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency with antibodies against IgA—Octagam® should not be used in patients with this condition.
Proper Use of immune globulin
This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain immune globulin. It may not be specific to Vivaglobin. Please read with care.
A doctor or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins, as a shot into one of your muscles, or as a shot under your skin.
This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
While you are being treated with immune globulin injection, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccines should not be given for 3 months after receiving immune globulin.
The Gammagard Liquid, Gammaked™, Gamunex®-C, and Hizentra® products may be given at home to patients who do not need to be in the hospital or clinic. They are given as an infusion under your skin once every week. The Hizentra® product may also be given once every 2 weeks. If you are using this medicine at home, your doctor will teach you how to prepare and infuse the medicine. You will be shown the body areas where the medicine can be given. Use a different body area for each infusion. Keep track of where you give an infusion to make sure you rotate sites. This will help prevent skin problems.
Do not change the brand or type of your immune globulin unless your doctor tells you to. If you must change the brand of medicine, talk to your doctor before giving yourself an infusion. Make sure you understand the instructions on how to use the new brand.
Allow the Gammagard Liquid, Gammaked™, or Gamunex®-C brand to reach room temperature before using it.
To use Gammagard Liquid, Gammaked™, Gamunex®-C, or Hizentra®:
- First, gather the items you will need on a clean, flat surface using a cloth or towel in a well-lighted area.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- If you have been told to wear gloves when preparing your infusion, put the gloves on.
- Check the liquid in the vial (glass container). It should be clear and slightly yellow to light brown in color. If it is cloudy, discolored, or contains large flecks (particles), do not use the vial. Select another vial.
- If the liquid is clear, place it on the clean, flat surface. Do not heat up or shake the medicine.
- Follow your doctor's instructions on how to prepare the correct amount of medicine.
- Choose an injection site on your body (eg, abdomen or stomach area, thigh, upper arm, upper leg, hip). Clean the injection site with a fresh alcohol wipe, and let it dry.
- With two fingers, pinch together the skin at the injection site. Insert the needle with the tube under the skin.
- Put sterile gauze and tape over the injection site to keep the needle from coming out.
- Before starting the infusion, make sure no blood is flowing into the infusion tube. If blood is present, remove and throw away the used needle and tube.
- Follow your doctor's instructions on how to use the infusion pump.
- Remove the peel-off portion of the label from the used vial. Place this label in your treatment diary or log book. Write down the amount of medicine you used, the date, and the time of your treatment.
- It usually takes about 60 minutes for each infusion.
- When all of the medicine has been infused, turn off the pump.
- Take the gauze off and remove the needle and tube from your skin.
- Clean and store the infusion pump.
- Throw away used needles and tubes in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.
This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Store the Hizentra® product at room temperature, away from heat and moisture, for up to 30 months. Keep from freezing. Protect the product from direct light. Keep the medicine in the original package until you are ready to use it.
Store the Gamunex®-C product in the original container and in the refrigerator, but do not freeze it.
You may store the Gammagard Liquid or Gammaked™ product in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Check the box or label of the vials for expiration dates. Store it in the original container. Do not freeze. Talk with your pharmacist if you have questions about storage of this product.
Precautions While Using Vivaglobin
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits for any problems that may be caused by this medicine. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) should not be treated with Gammaked™ or Gamunex®-C that is injected under the skin (subcutaneously). Doing so may increase the risk of having a hematoma (buildup of blood under the skin).
This medicine may cause fever, chills, flushing, headaches, nausea, and vomiting, especially if you are receiving it for the first time or if you have not received it for more than 8 weeks. Check with your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms.
This medicine is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted certain viruses to people who have received them, although the risk is low. Human donors and donated blood are both tested for viruses to keep the transmission risk low. Talk with your doctor about this risk if you are concerned.
This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Tell your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hives, chest pain, dizziness or lightheadedness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth after receiving this medicine. Certain people, including those with IgA (an immunoglobulin) deficiency and antibodies against IgA and a history of hypersensitivity to human immunoglobulin products should not use this medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you start to have a stiff neck, drowsiness, fever, severe headache, nausea or vomiting, painful eye movements, or eye sensitivity to light. These could be symptoms of a serious condition called aseptic meningitis syndrome (AMS).
This medicine may cause bleeding (hemolysis) or hemolytic anemia. Tell your doctor right away if you have stomach or back pain, dark urine, decreased urination, difficulty with breathing, an increased heart rate, tiredness, or yellow eyes or skin after you receive the medicine.
Check with your doctor right away if you start having chest pain, difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing, blue lips and fingernails, fever, pale skin, increased sweating, coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum, shortness of breath, or swelling of the legs and ankles after receiving this medicine. These may be symptoms of a serious lung problem.
This medicine may cause blood clots. This is more likely to occur if you have a history of blood clotting problems, heart disease, or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), or if you are obese, take medicines containing estrogen, or must stay in bed for a long time because of surgery or illness. Check with your doctor right away if you suddenly have chest pain, shortness of breath, a severe headache, leg pain, or problems with vision, speech, or walking.
Check with your doctor right away if you start having red or dark brown urine, lower back or side pain, a sudden weight gain, a swollen face, arms, or legs, decreased urine output, or any problems with urination after you receive this medicine. These may be symptoms of a serious kidney problem.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Vivaglobin?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Vivaglobin. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with this medicine may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Vivaglobin.
- This medicine is made from human plasma (part of the blood) and may have viruses that may cause disease. This medicine is screened, tested, and treated to lower the chance that it carries an infection. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Vivaglobin while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
What are some other side effects of Vivaglobin?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where Vivaglobin is given.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Back pain.
- Sore throat.
- Stuffy nose.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Belly pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Warnings and Precautions
Severe hypersensitivity reactions may occur (see Patient Counseling Information [17.2]). In case of hypersensitivity, discontinue the Vivaglobin infusion immediately and institute appropriate treatment. Epinephrine should be immediately available to treat any acute severe hypersensitivity reactions.
Individuals with IgA deficiency can develop anti-IgA antibodies and anaphylactic reactions (including anaphylaxis and shock) after administration of blood components containing IgA. Patients with known antibodies to IgA may have a greater risk of developing potentially severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions. Vivaglobin contains ≤1.7 mg/mL IgA (see Description ). The minimum concentration of IgA that will provoke a hypersensitivity reaction is not known; therefore all IgG preparations carry the risk of inducing an anaphylactic reaction to IgA.
Aseptic Meningitis Syndrome (AMS)
AMS has been reported to occur infrequently with IGIV treatment5 and with Vivaglobin treatment. The syndrome usually begins within several hours to 2 days following IGIV treatment. AMS is characterized by signs and symptoms including severe headache, nuchal rigidity, drowsiness, fever, photophobia, painful eye movements, nausea, and vomiting. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies frequently show pleocytosis up to several thousand cells per cubic millimeter, predominantly from the granulocytic series, and with elevated protein levels up to several hundred mg/dL. AMS may occur more frequently in association with high doses (2 g/kg) and/or rapid infusion of IGIV.
Patients exhibiting such signs and symptoms should receive a thorough neurological examination, including CSF studies, to rule out other causes of meningitis. Discontinuation of IGIV treatment has resulted in remission of AMS within several days without sequelae.
Reactions Reported with IGIV Treatment
The following reactions have been reported to occur with IGIV treatment and may occur with IGSC treatment.
Renal dysfunction/failure, osmotic nephropathy, and death may occur with use of human immune globulin products. Ensure that patients are not volume depleted and assess renal function, including measurement of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine, before the initial infusion of Vivaglobin and at appropriate intervals thereafter.
Periodic monitoring of renal function and urine output is particularly important in patients judged to have a potential increased risk of developing acute renal failure.1 If renal function deteriorates, consider discontinuing Vivaglobin. For patients judged to be at risk of developing renal dysfunction because of pre-existing renal insufficiency or predisposition to acute renal failure (such as those with diabetes mellitus or hypovolemia, those who are overweight or use concomitant nephrotoxic medicinal products, or those who are over 65 years of age), administer Vivaglobin at the minimum rate practicable.
Thrombotic events may occur with use of human immune globulin products.2-4 Patients at risk may include those with a history of atherosclerosis, multiple cardiovascular risk factors, advanced age, impaired cardiac output, hypercoagulable disorders, prolonged periods of immobilization, and/or known or suspected hyperviscosity. Because of the potentially increased risk of thrombosis, consider baseline assessment of blood viscosity in patients at risk for hyperviscosity, including those with cryoglobulins, fasting chylomicronemia/markedly high triacylglycerols (triglycerides), or monoclonal gammopathies. For patients judged to be at risk of developing thrombotic events, administer Vivaglobin at the minimum rate practicable.
Vivaglobin may contain blood group antibodies that may act as hemolysins and induce in vivo coating of red blood cells (RBCs) with immunoglobulin, causing a positive direct antiglobulin (Coombs') test result and hemolysis.6-8 Delayed hemolytic anemia can develop subsequent to immune globulin therapy due to enhanced RBC sequestration, and acute hemolysis, consistent with intravascular hemolysis, has been reported.9
Monitor recipients of Vivaglobin for clinical signs and symptoms of hemolysis. If these are present after Vivaglobin infusion, perform appropriate confirmatory laboratory testing. If transfusion is indicated for patients who develop hemolysis with clinically compromising anemia after receiving Vivaglobin, perform adequate cross-matching to avoid exacerbating on-going hemolysis.
Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)
Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema may occur in patients administered human immune globulin products.10 TRALI is characterized by severe respiratory distress, pulmonary edema, hypoxemia, normal left ventricular function, and fever. Typically, it occurs within 1 to 6 hours following transfusion. Patients with TRALI may be managed using oxygen therapy with adequate ventilatory support.
Monitor recipients of Vivaglobin for pulmonary adverse reactions. If TRALI is suspected, perform appropriate tests for the presence of anti-neutrophil antibodies in both the product and patient's serum.
Transmissible Infectious Agents
Because Vivaglobin is made from human plasma, it may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, e.g., viruses and, theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD) agent. No cases of transmission of viral diseases or CJD have been associated with the use of Vivaglobin. Report all infections thought possibly to have been transmitted by Vivaglobin to the CSL Behring Pharmacovigilance Department at 1-866-915-6958 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. The physician should discuss the risks and benefits of this product with the patient before prescribing or administering it to the patient (see Patient Counseling Information [17.2]).
After infusion of IgG, the transitory rise of the various passively transferred antibodies in the patient's blood may yield positive serological testing results, with the potential for misleading interpretation. Passive transmission of antibodies to erythrocyte antigens (e.g., A, B, and D) may cause a positive direct or indirect antiglobulin (Coombs') test.
Use in specific populations
Pregnancy Category C. Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Vivaglobin. It is also not known whether Vivaglobin can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Vivaglobin should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
Vivaglobin has not been evaluated in nursing mothers.
- In the US-Canada study, Vivaglobin was evaluated in 6 children (ages 5 through 11) and 4 adolescents (ages 13 through 16). In the Europe-Brazil study, Vivaglobin was evaluated in 16 children (ages 3 through 11) and 6 adolescents (ages 13 through 16).
- The safety and efficacy of Vivaglobin were not studied in pediatric subjects under 2 years of age.
- There were no differences in the safety and efficacy profiles as compared with adult subjects.
- No pediatric-specific dosing requirements were necessary to achieve the desired serum IgG levels.
- For recommendations on the number of simultaneous injection sites for pediatric patients who weigh less than 45 kg (99 pounds), see Administration (2.4).
The clinical studies of Vivaglobin did not include sufficient numbers of subjects 65 years of age and older to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. For recommendations on the number of simultaneous injection sites for geriatric patients, see Administration (2.4).
Vivaglobin is a sterile solution consisting of pasteurized, polyvalent immune globulin for subcutaneous administration. Vivaglobin is manufactured from large pools of human plasma by cold alcohol fractionation and is not chemically altered or enzymatically degraded. Vivaglobin is a 16% (160 mg/mL) protein solution, with a content of at least 96% IgG. Vivaglobin contains ≤1.7 mg/mL IgA and ≤1.8 mg/mL IgM. The distribution of IgG subclasses is similar to that present in normal human plasma. Vivaglobin also contains 2.25% glycine, 0.3% sodium chloride, and water for injection, USP. The pH of Vivaglobin is 6.4 to 7.2. Vivaglobin contains no preservative.
All plasma units used in the manufacture of Vivaglobin have been tested using serological assays for hepatitis B surface antigen and antibodies to HIV-1/2 and HCV as well as Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for HIV-1 and HCV and found to be nonreactive (negative). For HBV, an investigational NAT procedure is used and the plasma found to be negative; however, the significance of a negative result has not been established. In addition, the plasma has been tested by NAT for HAV and B19V. Only plasma that passed virus screening is used for production, and the limit for B19V in the fractionation pool is set not to exceed 104 IU of B19V DNA per mL.
The capacity of the manufacturing process to remove and/or inactivate enveloped and non-enveloped viruses has been validated by laboratory spiking studies on a scaled-down process model, using enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. The virus reduction capacity of two steps (ethanol – fatty alcohol / pH precipitation and pasteurization in aqueous solution at 60°C for 10 hours) was evaluated. Total mean cumulative virus reductions ranged from 9.0 to ≥14.1 log10 as shown in Table 6.
|Virus Studied||Ethanol – Fatty Alcohol / pH Precipitation |
|Total Cumulative |
|HIV-1, human immunodeficiency virus type 1, model for HIV-1/2; BVDV, bovine viral diarrhea virus, model for HCV and WNV (West Nile virus); PRV, pseudorabies virus, model for large enveloped DNA viruses (e.g., herpes virus); PEV, porcine enterovirus, model for HAV (in an immune globulin product); CPV, canine parvovirus, model for B19V.|
|* Reduction of B19V (evaluated using porcine IgG) by pasteurization was ≥5.0 log10.|
- Cayco AV, Perazella MA, Hayslett JP. Renal insufficiency after intravenous immune globulin therapy: a report of two cases and an analysis of the literature. J Am Soc Nephrol 1997;8:1788-1793.
- Dalakas MC. High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin and serum viscosity: risk of precipitating thromboembolic events. Neurology 1994;44:223-226.
- Woodruff RK, Grigg AP, Firkin FC, Smith IL. Fatal thrombotic events during treatment of autoimmune thrombocytopenia with intravenous immunoglobulin in elderly patients. Lancet 1986;2:217-218.
- Wolberg AS, Kon RH, Monroe DM, Hoffman M. Coagulation factor XI is a contaminant in intravenous immunoglobulin preparations. Am J Hematol 2000;65:30-34.
- Gabor EP. Meningitis and skin reaction after intravenous immune globulin therapy. Ann Intern Med 1997;127:1130.
- Copelan EA, Strohm PL, Kennedy MS, Tutschka PJ. Hemolysis following intravenous immune globulin therapy. Transfusion 1986;26:410-412.
- Thomas MJ, Misbah SA, Chapel HM, Jones M, Elrington G, Newsom-Davis J. Hemolysis after high-dose intravenous Ig. Blood 1993;15:3789.
- Wilson JR, Bhoopalam N, Fisher M. Hemolytic anemia associated with intravenous immunoglobulin. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1142-1145.
- Kessary-Shoham H, Levy Y, Shoenfeld Y, Lorber M, Gershon H. In vivo administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) can lead to enhanced erythrocyte sequestration. J Autoimmun 1999;13:129-135.
- Rizk A, Gorson KC, Kenney L, Weinstein R. Transfusion-related acute lung injury after the infusion of IVIG. Transfusion 2001;41:264-268.
- Pierce LR, Jain N. Risks associated with the use of intravenous immunoglobulin. Trans Med Rev 2003;17:241-251.
- Smith GN, Griffiths B, Mollison D, Mollison PL. Uptake of IgG after intramuscular and subcutaneous injection. Lancet 1972;1:1208-1212.
- Waniewski I, Gardulf A, Hammarström L. Bioavailability of γ-globulin after subcutaneous infusions in patients with common variable immunodeficiency. J Clin Immunol 1994;14:90-97.