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Gammaglobulin is a type of protein found in the blood. When gammaglobulins are extracted from the blood of many people and combined, they can be used to prevent or treat infections.


This medicine is used to treat or prevent diseases that occur when the body's own immune system is not effective against the disease. When disease-causing agents enter the body, they normally trigger the production of antibodies, proteins that circulate in the blood and help fight the disease. Gammaglobulin contains some of these antibodies. When gammaglobulins are taken from the blood of people who have recovered from diseases such as chickenpox or hepatitis, they can be given to other people to make them temporarily immune to those diseases. With hepatitis, for example, this is done when someone who has not been vaccinated against hepatitis is exposed to the disease.


Gammaglobulin, also known as immunoglobulin, immune serum globulin or serum therapy, is injected either into a vein or into a muscle. When injected into a vein, it produces results more quickly than when injected into a muscle.

Recommended dosage

Doses are different for different people and depend on the person's body weight and the condition for which he or she is being treated.


Anyone who has had unusual reactions to gammaglobulin in the past should let his or her physician know before taking the drugs again. The physician should also be told about any allergies to foods, dyes, preservatives, or other substances.
People who have certain medical conditions may have problems if they take gammaglobulins. For example:
  • Gammaglobulins may worsen heart problems or deficiencies of immunoglobin A (IgA, a type of antibody)
  • Certain patients with low levels of gammaglobulins in the blood (conditions called agammaglobulinemia and hypogammaglobulinemia) may be more likely to have side effects when they take gammaglobulin.

Side effects

Minor side effects such as headache, backache, joint or muscle pain, and a general feeling of illness usually go away as the body adjusts to this medicine. These problems do not need medical attention unless they continue.
Other side effects, such as breathing problems or a fast or pounding heartbeat, should be brought to a physician's attention as soon as possible.
Anyone who shows the following signs of overdose should check with a physician immediately:
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • chills
  • tightness in the chest
  • red face
  • sweating

Key terms

Hepatitis — Inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, chemical or drugs. There are several different types of hepatitis, including the most common forms: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Immune system — The body's natural defenses against disease and infection.
Inflammation — Pain, redness, swelling, and heat that usually develop in response to injury or illness.


Anyone who takes gammaglobulin should let the physician know all other medicines he or she is taking and should ask whether interactions with gammaglobulin could interfere with treatment.
References in periodicals archive ?
From January to June of 2010, Hualan Biological Engineering Ltd achieved the revenue of RMB343 million from blood products (a 67% YoY rise), including RMB124 million from human serum albumin (a 13% YoY rise), RMB121 million from intravenous gammaglobulin (a 61% YoY rise) and RMB97.
Home treatment of hypogammaglobulinemia with subcutaneous gammaglobulin by rapid infusion.
Gammaglobulin was administered intravenously for 5 days; the patient improved slightly.
Coronary risk factors in Kawasaki Disease treated with additional gammaglobulin.
Treatment may include blood transfusion, corticosteroids, immunotherapy, IV gammaglobulin, plasmapheresis, and splenectomy, and varies with the se verity of presentation.
He will live with infusions of gammaglobulin every four weeks and daily doses of antibiotics for the rest of his life.
Two patients, who had previously failed a wide range of other treatments and were receiving weekly IV gammaglobulin, maintained platelet counts while on only R788 for 20 weeks of the study.
Imbach P, Barandun S, d' Apuzzo V, et al: High-dose intravenous gammaglobulin for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in childhood Lancet 1981; 1:1228-1231
Therefore, CSF in SSPE will typically have normal cellular components, glucose and total protein, but markedly elevated values of gammaglobulin (hyperglobulinorrachia greater than 20% of the total protein), and anti-measles antibodies (5,7).
If fetal loss occurs despite these efforts, then the use of intravenous gammaglobulin for future pregnancies may be necessary.
This patient and other patients with antibody deficiencies are treated with monthly intravenous infusions of gammaglobulin, purified antibodies that are obtained from donated blood.