Rabies immune globulin

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Rabies immune globulin Brand Name(s): Rabies immune globulin and Rabies immune globulin.

Uses

What is rabies immune globulin used for?

Rabies immune globulin is commonly used for together with rabies vaccine to prevent infection caused by the rabies virus. It works by giving your body the antibodies it needs to protect it against the rabies virus. This is called passive protection. This passive protection lasts long enough to protect your body until your body can produce its own antibodies against the rabies virus.

Rabies immune globulin is given to persons who have been exposed (e.g., by a bite, scratch, or lick) to an animal that is known or thought, to have rabies. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis. Rabies immune globulin is used only in persons who have never before received the rabies vaccine.

How should I take rabies immune globulin?

This drug is injected in a hospital or clinic. It is given as a shot in the upper arm (deltoid) or thigh muscle. It may also be injected into the wound that caused your exposure to rabies (e.g., animal bite or scratch).

Rabies immune globulin is given preferably at the time of your first rabies vaccine dose. It may also be given through the 7th day after the first dose of rabies vaccine is given.

Always administer in conjunction with rabies vaccine (HDCV).

Avoid repeated dose once vaccine treatment has started.

How do I store rabies immune globulin?

Rabies immune globulin is best stored in the refrigerator. To prevent drug damage, do not freeze. There may be different brands of rabies immune globulin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush rabies immune globulin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using rabies immune globulin?

Before using rabies immune globulin, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of rabies immune globulin or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure that rabies immune globulin is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

While you are being treated with rabies immune globulin, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor’s approval. Live virus vaccines (e.g., measles, mumps, polio, rubella) should not be given within 3 months after receiving rabies immune globulin.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using rabies immune globulin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking rabies immune globulin. Rabies immune globulin is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from rabies immune globulin?

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

  • Fever
  • Pain, soreness, tenderness, or stiffness at the injection site
  • Skin rash

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet
  • Sex organs
  • Swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with rabies immune globulin?

Rabies immune globulin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with rabies immune globulin?

Rabies immune globulin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with rabies immune globulin?

Rabies immune globulin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Especially if you have:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Thrombocytopenia (low number of platelets)
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiencies

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using rabies immune globulin.

What is the dose of rabies immune globulin for an adult?

The recommended dose is 20 International Unit/kg, infiltrate locally around bite.

If full dose infiltration not possible, give rest IM in gluteal or lateral thigh muscle.

What is the dose of rabies immune globulin for a child?

The recommended dose is 20 International Unit/kg, infiltrate locally around bite.

How is rabies immune globulin available?

Rabies Immune Globulin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • 150 International Units/mL (2mL vial)
  • 150 International Units/mL (10mL vial)

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of rabies immune globulin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: May 9, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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