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Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) products have been reported to be associated with renal dysfunction, acute renal failure, osmotic nephrosis, and death.18 Patients predisposed to acute renal failure include patients with any degree of pre-existing renal insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, age greater than 65, volume depletion, sepsis, paraproteinemia, or patients receiving known nephrotoxic drugs. Especially in such patients, IGIV products should be administered at the minimum concentration available and the minimum rate of infusion practicable. While these reports of renal dysfunction and acute renal failure have been associated with the use of many of the licensed IGIV products, those containing sucrose as a stabilizer accounted for a disproportionate share of the total number.*

See PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION sections for important information intended to reduce the risk of acute renal failure.

*GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) does not contain sucrose.

GAMMAGARD S/D, Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) is made from human plasma. Products made from human plasma may contain infectious agents, such as viruses, that can cause disease. The risk that such products will transmit an infectious agent has been reduced by screening plasma donors for prior exposure to certain viruses, by testing for the presence of certain current virus infections, and by inactivating and/or removing certain viruses (See DESCRIPTION). Despite these measures, such products can still potentially transmit disease. Because this product is made from human blood, it may carry a risk of transmitting infectious agents, e.g., viruses and theoretically, the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) agent. ALL infections thought by a physician possibly to have been transmitted by this product should be reported by the physician or other healthcare provider to Baxter Healthcare Corporation at 1-800-423-2862 (in the U.S.). The physician should discuss the risks and benefits of this product with the patient.

GAMMAGARD S/D, Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human), should only be administered intravenously. Other routes of administration have not been evaluated.

Immediate anaphylactic and hypersensitivity reactions are a remote possibility. Epinephrine and antihistamines should be available for treatment of any acute anaphylactoid reactions.

GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) contains only trace amounts of IgA ( ≤ 2.2 µg/mL in a 5% solution). GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) is not indicated in patients with selective IgA deficiency where the IgA deficiency is the only abnormality of concern. It should be given with caution to patients with antibodies to IgA or IgA deficiencies, that are a component of an underlying primary immunodeficiency disease for which IGIV therapy is indicated.7,19 In such instances, a risk of anaphylaxis may exist despite the fact that GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) contains only trace amounts of IgA.



Some viruses, such as B19V (formerly known as parvovirus B19) or hepatitis A, are particularly difficult to remove or inactivate at this time. B19V most seriously affects pregnant women, or immune-compromised individuals. Symptoms of B19V infection include fever, drowsiness, chills, and runny nose followed about two weeks later by a rash and joint pain. Evidence of hepatitis A may include several days to weeks of poor appetite, tiredness, and low-grade fever followed by nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Dark urine and a yellowed complexion are also common symptoms. Patients should be encouraged to consult their physician if such symptoms appear.

An aseptic meningitis syndrome (AMS) has been reported to occur infrequently in association with Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) [IGIV] treatment. Discontinuation of IGIV treatment has resulted in remission of AMS within several days without sequelae. The syndrome usually begins within several hours to two days following IGIV treatment. It is characterized by symptoms and signs including severe headache, nuchal rigidity, drowsiness, fever, photophobia, painful eye movements, and nausea and vomiting. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) studies are frequently positive with pleocytosis up to several thousand cells per mm3, predominantly from the granulocytic series, and elevated protein levels up to several hundred mg/dL. Patients exhibiting such symptoms and signs should receive a thorough neurological examination, including CSF studies, to rule out other causes of meningitis. AMS may occur more frequently in association with high dose (2 g/kg) IGIV treatment.

Periodic monitoring of renal function tests and urine output is particularly important in patients judged to have a potential increased risk for developing acute renal failure. Assure that patients are not volume depleted prior to the initiation of the infusion of IGIV. Renal function, including measurement of blood urea nitrogen (BUN)/serum creatinine, should be assessed prior to the initial infusion of GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) and again at appropriate intervals thereafter. If renal function deteriorates, discontinuation of the product should be considered.

For patients judged to be at risk for developing renal dysfunction, it may be prudent to reduce the rate of infusion to less than 4 mL/kg/Hr ( < 3.3 mg IG/kg/min) for a 5% solution or at a rate less than 2 mL/kg/ Hr ( < 3.3 mg IG/kg/min) for a 10 % solution.

Certain components used in the packaging of this product contain natural rubber latex.


Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) [IGIV] products can contain blood group antibodies which may act as hemolysins and induce in vivo coating of red blood cells with immunoglobulin, causing a positive direct antiglobulin reaction and, rarely, hemolysis.20-23 Hemolytic anemia can develop subsequent to IGIV therapy due to enhanced RBC sequestration23 (See ADVERSE REACTIONS). IGIV recipients should be monitored for clinical signs and symptoms of hemolysis (See PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests).

Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)

There have been reports of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury [TRALI]) in patients administered IGIV.24 TRALI is characterized by severe respiratory distress, pulmonary edema, hypoxemia, normal left ventricular function, and fever and typically occurs within 1 to 6 hours after transfusion. Patients with TRALI may be managed using oxygen therapy with adequate ventilatory support.

IGIV recipients should be monitored for pulmonary adverse reactions. If TRALI is suspected, appropriate tests should be performed for the presence of anti-neutrophil antibodies in both the product and patient serum (See PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests).

Thrombotic Events

Thrombotic events have been reported in association with IGIV25-33 (See ADVERSE REACTIONS). Patients at risk may include those with a history of atherosclerosis, multiple cardiovascular risk factors, advanced age, impaired cardiac output, and/or known or suspected hyperviscosity, hypercoaguable disorders and prolonged periods of immobilization. The potential risks and benefits of IGIV should be weighed against those of alternative therapies for all patients for whom IGIV administration is being considered. Baseline assessment of blood viscosity should be considered in patients at risk for hyperviscosity, including those with cryoglobulins, fasting chylomicronemia/markedly high triacylgycerols (triglycerides), or monoclonal gammopathies (See PRECAUTIONS: Laboratory Tests). Analysis of adverse event reports13,34 has indicated that a rapid rate of infusion may be a risk factor for vascular occlusive events.

Laboratory Tests

If signs and/or symptoms of hemolysis are present after IGIV infusion, appropriate confirmatory laboratory testing should be done (see PRECAUTIONS).

If TRALI is suspected, appropriate tests should be performed for the presence of anti-neutrophil antibodies in both the product and patient serum (see PRECAUTIONS).

Because of the potentially increased risk of thrombosis, baseline assessment of blood viscosity should be considered in patients at risk for hyperviscosity, including those with cryoglobulins, fasting chylomicronemia/markedly high triacylglycerols (triglycerides), or monoclonal gammopathies (see PRECAUTIONS).

Pregnancy Category C

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with GAMMAGARD S/D, Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human). It is also not known whether GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. GAMMAGARD S/D (immune globulin) should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.


13. Data in the files of Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

7. Buckley RH. Immunoglobulin replacement therapy: Indications and contraindications for use and variable IgG levels achieved In: Alving BM, Finlayson JS eds. Immunoglobulins: characteristics and use of intravenous preparations. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1979;3-8.

18. 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;8:1788-1794.

19. Burks AW, Sampson HA, Buckley RH. Anaphylactic reactions after gammaglobulin administration in patients with hypogammaglobulinemia: Detection of IgE antibodies to IgA. N Eng J Med. 1986;314:560-564.

20. Wilson JR, Bhoopalam N, Fisher M. Hemoytic anemia associated with intravenous immunoglobulin. Muscle Nerve. 1997;20: 1142-1145.

21. Copelan EA, Strohm PL, Kennedy MS, Tutschka PJ. Hemolysis following intravenous immune globulin therapy. Transfusion. 1986;26:410-412.

22. Thomas MJ, Misbah SA, Chapel HM, Jones M, Elrington G, Newsom-Davis J. Hemolysis after high-dose intravenous Ig. Blood. 1993;82:3789.

23. 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 Autoimmune. 1999;13:129-135.

24. Rizk A, Gorson KC, Kenney L, Weinstein R. Transfusion-related acute lung injury after the infusion of IVIG. Transfusion. 2001;41: 264-268.

25. Dalakas MC. High-dose intravenous immunoglobulin and serum viscosity: risk of precipitating thromboembolic events. Neurology. 1994;44:223-226.

26. Harkness K, Howell SJL, Davies-Jones GAB. Encephalopathy associated with intravenous immunoglobulin treatment for Guillain-Barre syndrome. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery, Psychiatry. 1996;60:586-598.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. Brannagan TH, Nagle KJ, Lange DJ, Rowland LP . Complications of intravenous immune globulin treatment in neurologic disease. Neurology. 1996;47:674-677.

30. Haplea SS, Farrar JT, Gibson GA, Laskin M, Pizzi LT, Ashbury AK. Thromboembolic Events Associated with Intravenous Immunoglobulin Therapy. Neurology. 1997;48:A54.

31. Kwan T, and Keith P. Stroke Following Intravenous Immunoglobulin Infusion in a 28-Year-Old Male with Common Variable Immune Deficiency: A Case Report and Literature Review. Canadian Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. 1999;4:250-253.

32. Elkayam O, Paran D, Milo R, Davidovitz Y, Almoznino-Sarafian D, Zelster D, Yaron M, Caspi D. Acute Myocardial Infarction Associated with High Dose Intravenous Immunoglobulin Infusion for Autoimmune Disorders. A study of four cases. Ann Rheum Dis. 2000;59:77-80.

33. Gomperts ED, Darr F. Letter to the Editor. Reference article - Rapid infusion of intravenous immune globulin in patients with neuromuscular disorders. Neurology. 2002. In Press.

34. Grillo JA, Gorson KC, Ropper AH, Lewis J, Weinstein R. Rapid infusion of intravenous immune globulin in patients with neuromuscular disorders. Neurology. 2001;57:1699-1701.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 9/8/2008


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