IMMUNE GLOBULIN (IG)
What is IMMUNE GLOBULIN (IG)?
Standard immune globulin (IG; formerly called gamma globulin) is a concentrated solution
of antibodies prepared from pooled human plasma. Immune Globulin is used to prevent
Hepatitis A infections after acute exposure. In the United States, only plasma that tested
negative for Hepatitis B surface antigen, antibody to Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and antibody
to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is used to manufacture IG.
What is the effectiveness of Immune Globulin?
When administered intramuscularly before exposure to Hepatitis A virus (HAV) or within two
weeks after exposure, IG is 85% effective in preventing Hepatitis A infections.
Who should receive Immune Globulin (IG)?
Recipients may include the following:
• Persons with close contact (household or sexual) to a person with Hepatitis A.
• Staff and attendees at child care centers where a Hepatitis A case is diagnosed.
• Persons in certain common source exposure situations (e.g., to patrons of a food
establishment with a food handler infected with Hepatitis A virus).
Persons do not need IG if they received one dose of Hepatitis A vaccine at least one month
before Hepatitis A virus exposure.
What could interfere with an Immune Globulin injection?
IG can interfere with the response to live injected vaccines (e.g., measles, mumps, rubella,
and varicella vaccines). Administration of live vaccines should be delayed for at least three
months after administration of IG. IG should not be administered for two weeks after
measles, mumps and rubella containing vaccines and for three weeks after vaccination with
varicella vaccine. If IG is given during this period, the person should be re-vaccinated with
the live vaccine, but not sooner than three months after administration of IG. IG does not
interfere with oral polio vaccine, oral typhoid vaccine or yellow fever vaccines.
What are the contraindications of Immune Globulin?
IG should not be given to persons with isolated Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency. Such
persons have the potential for developing antibodies to IgA and could have anaphylactic
reactions to subsequent administration of blood products containing IgA.
IG should not be administered to patients with severe thrombocytopenia (low platelets) or
any coagulation disorder (bleeding disorder) that would contraindicate intramuscular
Pregnancy or breastfeeding is not a contraindication to IG use.
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Doc. # 35-05-20/-07/05/08-J