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What is intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, for neuropathy?

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Quick Answer

IVIG treatment for neuropathy is a type of infusion therapy in which the patient receives antibodies that fight the body's autoimmune attack responsible for the neuropathy, according to Phoenix Neurological Associates. The IVIG preparation comes from donated blood plasma that undergoes a careful purification and screening process. The infusion lasts an average of four to six hours, and patients typically receive their full dose of IVIG over two sessions every four to six weeks.

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Full Answer

IVIG treatment is helpful for a variety of neurological and neuromuscular autoimmune diseases, states Phoenix Neurological Associates. An autoimmune disease causes the patient's antibodies to attack parts of the body as if they were infections or foreign bodies. While doctors are unsure what causes this reaction in the body, IVIG appears to block it successfully.

Some of the side effects of IVIG are headache, stiff neck or fever during the transfusion or immediately after, explains Phoenix Neurological Associates. If a patient experiences these side effects, the infusion nurse may slow down the infusion, and this usually prevents further bad reactions. The nurse also carefully watches the patient for dangerous reactions, such as allergic reactions, blood pressure changes, rash, shortness of breath, and fever or chills. Following the infusion, many patients experience fatigue or flu-like symptoms for a day or two.

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