Human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) is a shot that is given as soon
as possible after a likely exposure to
rabies. HRIG contains rabies antibodies that
immediately inactivate and control the rabies virus until the vaccine begins to
HRIG is given only one time, at the beginning of
treatment for rabies exposure.
The full dose of HRIG is injected
into the exposure wound and into the area around the wound. Any remaining dose
of HRIG will be injected into a different muscle from the one where the vaccine
shot will be given.1
HRIG is given
only to people who have not received the rabies vaccine before their most
recent exposure. People who previously received the vaccine already have some
rabies antibodies, and another HRIG injection can make the postexposure
vaccination series less effective.
HRIG may cause pain at the site
of the shot and a low-grade fever after the shot is given.