Varicella zoster immune globulin
|Other names||Antivaricella-zoster Immunoglobulin|
|Drug class||Immune globulin|
|Main uses||Prevention of chickenpox after exposure|
|Side effects||Pain at the site of injection, headache, rash, nausea|
|US NLM||Varicella zoster immune globulin|
Varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG, VarIg), sold under the brand name VariZIG, is a medication used following exposure to varicella zoster virus (chickenpox or shingles) in those at high risk for the disease. Those at high risk include those without immunity who are pregnant or immunocompromised. It is given by injection into a muscle.
Common side effects include pain at the site of injection, headache, rash, and nausea. Other side effects may include low blood pressure, fever, and allergic reactions. Care is required in those with IgA deficiency. It is an immune globulin, specifically a gamma globulin, made from the blood of people with high amounts of antibodies against VZV.
Varicella zoster immune globulin has been available in United States since 1978. In the United States it costs about 2,000 USD per 125 IU as of 2021. In the United Kingdom a dose for an adult costs the NHS £2,400.
Varicella zoster virus is a human herpes virus that causes chickenpox, shingles, Ramsay Hunt syndrome type II, and postherpetic neuralgia. Unlike a Zoster vaccine which provides durable immunity, the protection is passive and short term; it may need to be readministered every 2-4 weeks as necessary.
One a VZV infection has been established, there is no evidence of benefit.
Varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG) can be administered to children with suppressed immune systems to protect them against severe chicken pox.
It is generally given at a dose of 125 IU per 10 kg up to a maximum of 625 IU.
The immunoglobulin is prepared from the plasma of healthy donors with high titers of antibodies to VZV. A study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that showed outdated blood from blood banks may have antibody concentrations that were equivalent to those in plasma of donors recovering from recent VZV infection that resulted in elevated levels of zoster immune globulin.
- Canada, Public Health Agency of (18 July 2007). "Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 5 - Passive Immunization". www.canada.ca. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- "Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin Monograph for Professionals". Drugs.com. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- BNF (80 ed.). BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. September 2020 – March 2021. p. 1355. ISBN 978-0-85711-369-6.CS1 maint: date format (link)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC). (19 July 2013). "Updated recommendations for use of VariZIG--United States, 2013". MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 62 (28): 574–6. PMID 23863705.
- "VariZIG Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Drugs.com. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- "HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION". Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- "Evaluation of Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin: Protection of Immunosuppressed Children after Household Exposure to Varicella" Journal of Infectious Diseases. Oxford Journals, Jul 1982. Web. 20 Mar 2013. <http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/147/4/737.short>.