Varicella zoster immune globulin

From WikiProjectMed
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Varicella zoster immune globulin
Trade namesVariZIG
Other namesAntivaricella-zoster Immunoglobulin
Clinical data
Drug classImmune globulin[1]
Main usesPrevention of chickenpox after exposure[2]
Side effectsPain at the site of injection, headache, rash, nausea[2]
Routes of
External links

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.[2][3] Those at high risk include those without immunity who are pregnant or immunocompromised.[2] It is given by injection into a muscle.[1]

Common side effects include pain at the site of injection, headache, rash, and nausea.[2] Other side effects may include low blood pressure, fever, and allergic reactions.[3] Care is required in those with IgA deficiency.[2] It is an immune globulin, specifically a gamma globulin, made from the blood of people with high amounts of antibodies against VZV.[1][2]

Varicella zoster immune globulin has been available in United States since 1978.[4] In the United States it costs about 2,000 USD per 125 IU as of 2021.[5] In the United Kingdom a dose for an adult costs the NHS £2,400.[3]

Medical uses

Neonatal varicella

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.[6]

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.[1]


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 A study was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that showed outdated blood from blood banks may have antibody concentrations that were equivalent to those in plasma of donors recovering from recent VZV infection that resulted in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.[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Canada, Public Health Agency of (18 July 2007). "Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 5 - Passive Immunization". Archived from the original on 16 June 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin Monograph for Professionals". Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 BNF (80 ed.). BMJ Group and the Pharmaceutical Press. September 2020 – March 2021. p. 1355. ISBN 978-0-85711-369-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)
  4. 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.
  5. "VariZIG Prices, Coupons & Patient Assistance Programs". Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  6. "HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION". Archived from the original on 8 June 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  7. "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. < Archived 2021-09-23 at the Wayback Machine>.

External links