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Information updates

New and updated ASCIA information on subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) therapy and primary immunodeficiency (PID)

August 3, 2017: 

New and updated information on SCIg therapy and PID has been developed by ASCIA in 2017, as part of a comprehensive project. 

The aim of the following information is to assist patients with PID and their carers, and support health professionals who care for patients with PID:

Immunoglobulins (commonly known as antibodies) are used to treat adults and children with primary immune deficiencies (and other medical conditions), who are unable to make enough of their own antibodies, or who have antibodies that don’t work properly.  Replacing these antibodies helps to protect against infection and can prevent long term damage from ongoing infections, such as chronic lung disease.

Immunoglobulin replacement therapy may be given as:

  • intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) by injecting into the vein, usually monthly in hospital; or
  • subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIg) by injecting under the skin, usually 1-3 times per week. SCIg can be given at home by the patient or carer, using a mechanical infusion pump (spring loaded or battery powered) or by rapid push (a manual method that does not require a pump - infusion is pushed by hand through a syringe).

Whilst there are multiple brands that may change over time and rates of administration vary for different products, both IVIg and SCIg:

  • Are effective at reducing infections and hospitalisations
  • Preserve organ function and reduce long term damage from recurrent infections
  • Are associated with significant benefits to patient quality of life
  • Improve the lifespan of patients

Content updatd 3 August 2017

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