Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin is a drug in the class of coinfections and opportunistic infections with its brand name being VARIZIG. There are various labels for this drug that are FDA approved. It was first administered in 1969 to patients convalescing from herpes zoster and showed prevention attributes of clinical varicella in vulnerable normal children if given within 72 hours after exposure.
The drug is administered for protection after exposure to varicella virus in high-risk individuals. Such individuals include:
This medicine is for intramuscular use only.
The following are the various doses of VARIZIG to be administered depending on body weight:
A second full dose of VARIZIG should be given to patients who are at high risk and have had further exposure to the virus after three weeks of receiving the first dosage.
Do consider the following while administering Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin or VARIZIG.
This medicine should be injected into the deltoid muscle or in the anterolateral aspects of the thigh, upper section. The gluteal region should not be used as an injection site because of the risk of sciatic nerve injury.
If the medicine must be injected in the gluteal region, use only the outer upper quadrant. It should never be administered intravenously.
A single dose can be administered at two or more injection sites. The dosage can be divided into two or more portions to be administered at different sites. Do not inject more than 3ml per site.
As is common in medical practice, the same disposable sterile syringe and needle should not be used on different patients. This will prevent transmitting the disease or any other between patients.
Any drugs that a person may be taking including herbal preparations, supplements, vitamins, prescription and over the counter drugs may interact with Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin. Inform a medical practitioner of other drugs that are in use so that they can determine what interactions could occur.
Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin mainly interacts with other live attenuated virus vaccines and impairs their efficacy. Such vaccines may need to be administered again after use of this chickenpox vaccine.
There are 21 drugs, 54 generic and brand names that have a moderate interaction with VARIZIG. Moderate interaction implies that the two drugs should be used together only in exceptional circumstances. The interaction between such drugs is clinically significant.
Here is a list of these drugs.
For patients with coagulation disorders that do contraindicate intramuscular injections, this drug should be administered if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Patients who are at risk of thrombotic events after or during use of Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin have certain conditions. These include mainly those with any of the following issues:
Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin is made from human plasma and may carry the risk of transmitting other infectious agents. The human plasma donors are thoroughly screened for infectious diseases and others to ensure they are healthy. During manufacture of the drug, measures are put in place to deactivate and remove any viruses that may still be present even after initial screening. But despite all these measures, the vaccine could still transmit diseases.
Severe reactions of hypersensitivity may occur after use of VARIZIG. Patients who are expressly at more significant risks of severe hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions are those with known antibodies to IgA.
VARIZIG should be administered only in environments where there are medical personnel, medication and emergency equipment to handle anaphylaxis, shock, and hypersensitivity. In case of reactions to hypersensitivity, treatment should be discontinued and appropriate medication administered.
VARIZIG should be stored in the original vial at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees centigrade. The drug should not be frozen. The vial should not be removed from the outer carton to keep the stored drug protected from light.
The drug can be kept in its original container at ambient temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade for short periods of up to one week.
VARIZIG provides the human body with what it needs to protect itself from the chicken pox virus. This is referred to as passive protection. It works successfully in most of the cases where it is administered.
Chickenpox, also referred to as varicella, easily spreads from one person to the other. In itself, varicella is not such a severe disease, but it can result in severe problems. These include inflammation of the brain, pneumonia, and a sporadic illness referred to as Reye’s syndrome.
Because of these potential complications, it's necessary to be protected from chicken pox, whenever there has been exposure to the virus that causes it. VARIZIG must be prescribed by a medical practitioner.
VARIZIG is very safe to use. The doctor prescribing the drug should be informed of any medications in use to be able to determine the safety of using VARIZIG. Also, notify the doctor of any diseases the patient may have. Proper supervision of a medical practitioner is what will result in a successful outcome using this drug.