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Reducing Side Effects of IVIG Treatment

The side effects of IVIG are few, but managing them is still important

IVIG is the ideal treatment for CIDP neuropathy. In order to maximize its success, you need to know how to manage its side-effects no matter how minimal they are. But this is even more important when they become intolerable.

Intolerable side effects can lead to patient discouragement and the decision to discontinue quality of life improving IVIG. Many side effects can be minimized or eliminated by adherence to pre-medication administration as well as taking them at the right time in advance of IVIG administration. Often, prescribers order repeating of pre-medications if symptoms occur during IVIG administration. Another way to help minimize side effects is to maintain proper oral hydration.

Unless handling fluid volume is a problem (e.g., CHF, pre-existing renal dysfunction), it is recommended patients consume 64 ounces of water daily (e.g., 8 x 8 oz.) starting a day or two before, each day of and 1 – 2 days after IVIG. Lastly, compliance with routine anti-hypertensive medications could control major fluctuations of blood pressure during IVIG administration. Bothersome and intolerable side effects, as well as serious ones, should be reported to your nurse or doctor.

The IVIG nurse plays a major role in side effect management. Knowing all ordered medications, encouraging compliance, identifying and managing side effects and working with your doctor and nurse.

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