Intravenous Immunoglobulin: Implications for Use in the Neurological Patient

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The efficacy of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) in the treatment of the autoimmune disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), has been well documented in the literature. This has encouraged researchers to examine possible therapeutic uses of IVIG in other immune-mediated disorders. Recent clinical reports have suggested that IVIG may have a role in the treatment of neurological disorders with a possible immunopathogenic etiology. Intravenous immunoglobulin, a blood product which contains immunoglobulin G and a trace amount of immunoglobulin A, is believed to work as an immunomodulating agent. However, its mechanism of action is not well understood. Nurses involved with the administration of IVIG must be well informed about the manufacturing and regulation, proper dose and administration, adverse effects, appropriate assessments and related patient education.

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