This medication may rarely cause serious blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you are an older adult, are severely dehydrated, have a catheter in a vein close to your heart for administering medications, or have a history of blood clots, heart/blood vessel disease, heart failure, stroke, or if you are immobile (such as on very long plane flights or being bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any of these conditions.
To decrease the risk of serious blood clots, drink enough fluids to make sure you are not dehydrated before receiving this medication. Get medical help right away if any of these symptoms occur: shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, confusion, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, sudden/severe headaches, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, or sudden vision changes.Who should not take varicella-zoster immune globulin intramuscular?
This medication is used to help provide protection (antibodies) against a certain virus infection (varicella zoster) commonly known as chickenpox. It is used by certain people who have not been vaccinated or had the infection before and have had recent contact with someone infected with chickenpox. This medication is made from healthy human blood that has high levels of a certain substance (varicella zoster antibodies) which helps fight the infection.
Routine vaccination is usually the best way to protect against infection.
This medication is usually given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. Adults and children usually receive the injection in the upper arm, and infants receive it in the upper thigh. Large doses (more than 3 milliliters) should be divided into 2 or more injections and given at separate injection sites. Certain brands of this medication may be injected into a vein. The dosage and schedule of injections depend on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment.
This medication is given as soon as possible after you have had contact with (been exposed to) someone with chickenpox. If you wait too long after being exposed, the medication may not be effective. Not everyone who is exposed to this infection should receive varicella zoster immune globulin. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
See also Warning section.
Pain at the injection site or headache may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
See also Warning section.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other immunoglobulin products (such as IVIG); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: bleeding/blood clotting problems, a certain immune system problem (immunoglobulin A deficiency).
This medication is made from human blood. Even though the blood is carefully tested, and this medication goes through a special manufacturing process, there is an extremely small chance that you may get infections from the medication (for example, viruses such as hepatitis). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Some immune globulin products are made with maltose. This substance can cause false high blood sugar levels when your blood sugar is normal or even low. If you have diabetes, check with your pharmacist whether the product you are using contains maltose and whether your blood sugar testing supplies will work with this product. Rarely, serious problems have occurred when too much insulin was given because of false high sugar readings or when low blood sugar went untreated.
Tell your doctor of any recent or planned immunizations/vaccinations. This medication may prevent a good response to certain live viral vaccines (such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella). If you have recently received any of these vaccines, your doctor may have you tested for a response or have you vaccinated again later. If you plan on getting any of these vaccines, your doctor will tell you the best time to receive them so you get a good response.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
See also Warning section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medication may interfere with certain tests (including certain blood sugar tests, Coomb's test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Not applicable. This product is given in a hospital or clinic or doctor's office and will not be stored at home.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised June 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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