Understanding Infusion: IVIG/SCIG

When someone has low levels of immunoglobulin, also known as antibodies, in their blood, they may have an immune disorder and are at a higher risk for developing infection. To improve the functionality of their immune system, immunoglobulin can be administered in two ways: either intravenously (IVIG) or subcutaneously (SCIG). The PHS pharmacy provides the medication Hizentra, and PHS infusion nurses ensure it is administered properly and is effective for the patient.

But what are the differences between IVIG and SCIG?

IVIG

Patients who receive their immunoglobulin therapy intravenously receive the dose once every 3-4 weeks, through a needle placed directly into a vein or implanted infusion device.

Diagnoses that may require IVIG therapy include:

  • Immune deficiency
  • Immune disorder
  • _T6K5827Low immunity
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Severe combined immune globulin (SCID)
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Recurrent infections
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Common variable immunodeficiency
  • Seizure disorder
  • Primacy ciliary dyskinesia
  • Dysgammaglobulinemia acquired

SCIG

Patients who receive their immunoglobulin therapy subcutaneously inject the immunoglobulin medication into the fatty tissue just below the first layer of skin and have more flexibility in scheduling the infusions.

photo (48)Diagnoses that may require SCIG therapy include:

  • Immune deficiency
  • Immune disorder
  • Low immunity
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Severe combined immune globulin (SCID)

If you or someone you know is in need of IVIG or SCIG and want it to work around your schedule, call PHS at 651-642-1825 and ask to speak with an infusion nurse. From infusion assessment and administration to education and lab monitoring, PHS will support you and your child every step of the way. Whether you are switching providers or just coming home from the hospital, we’ll make the transition as seamless as possible- so that your entire family can live healthier and more fulfilling lives at home.

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Originally published: March 20, 2015
Showing 2 comments
  • Taylor Bishop
    Reply

    I wanted to thank you for helping me learn more about IVIG and SCIG. I didn’t know that IVIG could help those that have recurrent infections. I’m interested to learn if they work for any infection or only specific ones.

    • Kelsey Halena
      Reply

      Hi Taylor,

      Great question – IVIG is traditionally used when a person’s body does not produce enough antibodies on its own. It is usually ordered and managed by an immunologist after looking at the person’s past medical history and most importantly blood tests that check the level of your own bodies naturally made antibodies. So, recurrent infections in patients who produce antibodies appropriately would not necessarily benefit from IVIG.. but for those who don’t produce enough naturally, IVIG could be a great benefit.

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