Anthrax immune globulin belongs to a group of medicines known as immunizing agents. It is often used in combination with antibiotics to treat a serious disease termed as anthrax which is spread by touching or eating something that is infected with the anthrax germ, such as animals, or by breathing in the anthrax germ i.e. Bacillus anthracis.
When your body has a weak immune system, this disease can occur and may cause death. Immune globulin contains antibodies that make your immune system stronger. It is used in combination with other medicines to treat inhalational anthrax in adults and children.
This product is available in solution form which is given to the patients only by or under the supervision of a doctor or other trained healthcare professionals.
2 What to know before using
If you are about to start a drug therapy, the risk-benefit ratio of taking the drug should be considered carefully. Here, the suitable drug therapy is chosen by the doctor with active participation of the patient.
There are some important factors such as:
prevalence of metabolic impairments,
hypersensitivity reactions etc. which may alter the desired therapeutic effects of such medications.
Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects. If you have had any allergic reactions to any medicine then you must inform your doctor about that.
Further, you should tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Allergy to IgA (immunoglobulin A)
IgA (immunoglobulin A) deficiency with antibodies against IgA
Certain drugs should not be used concurrently with such medications. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications and live attenuated vaccines (e.g. measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella) or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects.
You should use this medicine following the directions given by your doctor. The dosage schedule and the duration of drug therapy depend on the particular medical problem for which you are using this medicine. The therapeutic dose may also vary with the patient’s condition or requirement and the strength of the medicine as well.
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital.
This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins by the following procedures:
Inspection of vials should be performed to ensure the product is fully thawed and free from discoloration and particulate matters.
The vials must not be used if they are damaged or if the solutions are cloudy, turbid, or have particulate matters.
The exposed central portion of the rubber stopper is wiped with an isopropyl alcohol swab.
The vial contents are withdrawn into a syringe and aseptically transferred into an appropriately sized IV bag. The infused drug name along with its volume is labeled on the IV bag.
If adverse reactions occur such as flushing, headache, nausea, changes in pulse rate, or blood pressure, the rate of infusion should be slowed or the infusion is temporarily stopped.
Adult infusion rate:
At initial stage, 0.5 mL/min for 30 minutes are to be given. If tolerated, the infusion rate may be increased by 0.5 mL/min q30min but not exceeding 2 mL/min.
Pediatric infusion rate:
At initial stage, 0.01 mL/kg/min for 30 minutes are to be given. If tolerated, the infusion rate may be increased by 0.02 mL/kg/min q30min but not exceeding 0.04 mL/kg/min.
Here, it is advised to store the medicine frozen at or below -15°C (≤5°F) until required for use. However, outdated medicines and partially used vials should be discarded by an appropriate way. Further, all kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children.
4 Precautions to take
Firstly, regular visits to your doctor are recommended to check that this medicine is working properly or not. Additionally, the following guidelines should be followed while receiving this medicine:
Certain people, including those with IgA deficiency and antibodies against IgA and a history of hypersensitivity to human immunoglobulin products should not use this medicine.
This medicine may cause blood clots, especially in those with a history of blood clotting problems, or any heart disease.
Besides, you should check with your doctor right away if you suddenly have:
Tell 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.
While you or your child 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.
These could be symptoms of a serious condition called aseptic meningitis syndrome (AMS).
5 Potential side effects
There are some unwanted side effects associated with each drug that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine.
Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects.
Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor if you notice any of the following toxic effects, especially:
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