What is Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin used for?
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin is commonly used to prevent or reduce the severity of varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) in high-risk patients who have been exposed to the virus. High risk patients include:
- Children and adults with compromised immune systems
- Newborns of mothers who were infected with varicella
- Premature infants
- Infants less than 1 years old
- Pregnant women
- Adults who do not have evidence of immunity to varicella
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should I take Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
This medication comes in injectable form to be given directly into the muscle (IM) in the upper arm or thigh by a healthcare professional. It is usually given as a one-time dose, but an additional dose may be needed in certain circumstances.
How do I store Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
- You should store the medicine in its carton to protect it from light, in the
refrigerator (2-8°C). Do not freeze. Short periods (up to one week) of storage
at room temperature (25°C), in the dark, will not damage the product.
- Do not use the medicine after the expiry date which is printed as “EXP” on
the containers (the expiry date refers to the last day of the month stated).
- Do not use the medicine if it is cloudy or any small bits can be seen in it.
After injection of the correct dose, your doctor or nurse will dispose of any
solution that remains, along with used syringes, needles and containers.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste.
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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 Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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 Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
You must not be given this medicine if you are:
Allergic to human immunoglobulins
Allergic to any of the ingredients in this product (see Section 6, ‘Further
Information’ for a list of these).
Special care must be taken with Human Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin if you:
- Develop an allergic reaction.If you suffer from any of these or just feel unwell tell your doctor.
- Suffer from a blood disorder. Inform your doctor before this medicine is Your doctor or nurse may inject this product just under the skin under these circumstances.
- Have had any vaccinations recently or know you are about to have any Tell your doctor if this is the case.
- Have had this product recently as it may give misleading results if you have ablood test. Tell your doctor if this is the case.
- Taking other medicines
- Please tell your doctor if you are taking, or have recently taken, any othermedicines, including those obtained without a prescription.
- This solution for injection must not be mixed with other medicinal products for
- Your doctor will advise you about any vaccinations you may need in addition togiving you this product.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are breastfeeding before this medicine is injected.
- Driving and using machines
There are no known effects of this product on your ability to drive or operate
Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin. This Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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,
What side effects can occur from Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
Common side effects include the following:
- Injection site pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Serious side effects have been reported with Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin including the following:
Thrombotic Events. Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin can increase your risk for developing blood clots, especially if you have a history of atherosclerosis (a disease where plaque builds up in your arteries), heart problems, or a disorder in which your body ability to control blood clotting is impaired.
Hypersensitivity. Severe allergic reactions can occur with Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin. Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of hypersensitivity, which include the following:
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Transmissible Infectious Agents. Since Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin is made from human plasma, it may contain infectious agents that could cause disease. Certain measures are taken to reduce this risk, but the possbility still exists that Varizig can transmit disease.
You should not receive Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin if you:
- Are allergic to varicella/zoster immunoglobulin or to any of its ingredients
- Have had an allergic reaction to another human immune globulin preparation
- Have an IgA-deficiency
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.
What drugs may interact with Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin can make certain vaccines not work as well, including measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), live attenuated influenza (flu nasal spray) yellow fever, rotavirus, and oral polio vaccines. You should not receive any of these live vaccines until around 3 months after you receive Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin. Tell your doctor who is recommending vaccination that you have recently received Varizig so that appropriate measures can be taken until you are able to be vaccinated again.
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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 Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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 Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin?
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin 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.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin.
What is the dose of Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin for an adult?
Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin is given as a one-time single dose. This dose may need to be repeated in certain patients who are exposed to the varicella virus again within 3 weeks of receiving the first dose of this medication.
What is the dose of Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin available?
Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Injectable form
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 Varicella-Zoster Immunoglobulin, 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.
Varicella/zoster Immunoglobulin. http://www.rxwiki.com/varicellazoster-immunoglobulin. Accessed December 19, 2017.
varicella zoster immune globulin, human (Rx). https://reference.medscape.com/drug/varizig-varicella-zoster-immune-globulin-human-343145#6. Accessed December 19, 2017.
HUMAN VARICELLA-ZOSTER IMMUNOGLOBULIN 250MG SOLUTION FOR INJECTION. https://www.drugs.com/uk/human-varicella-zoster-immunoglobulin-250mg-solution-for-injection-leaflet.html. Accessed December 19, 2017.
Review Date: December 20, 2017 | Last Modified: December 20, 2017