Frequently Asked Questions
How is IVIG administered?
A registered nurse will place a small IV catheter into a vein and infuse the IVIG with an infusion pump. Our highly trained staff will be present throughout your infusion to oversee your treatment and to assist you in any way.
Is IVIG safe?
There has never in more than ten years been a reported case of any disease, including HIV, transmitted through the use of IVIG. The safety record of IVIG therapy has been exceptional, with new technology improvements in constant development. By choosing to have your treatments in the comfort of the VISTA clinic, you will also enjoy the additional benefits of safer and fully supervised services by our professional staff.
Is IVIG expensive and will my insurance cover it?
IVIG is an expensive therapy and the costs varies depending on your dose requirements and the brand of IVIG. Prior to your treatments, we will review your insurance benefits and a reimbursement specialist will discuss with you your specific coverage.
Are there any side effects?
IVIG is usually well tolerated but as with any therapy some side effects can occur. Most are rate-related (how fast your infusion is administered) and can be resolved by slowing the infusion rate and/or taking antihistamines (Benadryl), acetaminophen (Tylenol), NSAID's (Advil or Aleve) or hydro-cortisone prior to your treatment. The most frequently reported side effects include:
Headache - While most headaches occur during or shortly after your infusion, you should contact your physician if a headache persists two days or longer and is unrelieved by over-the-counter medications.
- Flu-like symptoms
- These occur in only a small percentage of patients and are usually mild. Drinking plenty of fluids, including 48-64 ounces of caffeine-free beverages, before, during and after your infusion can also help minimize side effects. More complete information about side effects can be obtained from the IVIG package insert or your physician.
How long does it take for my infusion treatment?
The length of the infusion time is based on your IVIG dose and tolerance, although most treatments typically last from three to six hours. The initial doses of IVIG are considered your "induction doses" and may be administered for two to five consecutive days for one to three months. Your infusion frequency is then usually every four to eight weeks depending on your diagnosis and physician's evaluation of your response as well as other criteria pertinent to your individual case.
Must I sit still for the entire treatment?
At VISTA, our ambulatory facility means just that --- you can move about within the clinic, enjoy a delicious lunch or snack, read, watch movies or just relax and take a nap. Our setting is designed with your comfort in mind!