What is GAMMAGARD S-D?
(GAMMAGARD S-D) This medication is used to strengthen the body's natural defense system (immune system) to lower the risk of infection in persons with a weakened immune system. This medication is made from healthy human blood that has a high level of certain defensive substances (antibodies), which help fight infections. It is also used to increase the blood count (platelets) in persons with a certain blood disorder (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura-ITP). Platelets are needed to stop bleeding and form blood clots. Some immune globulin products may also be used to treat certain types of muscle weakness problem (multifocal motor neuropathy, dermatomyositis) or a certain nerve disorder (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy-CIDP). Some products may also be used to prevent certain blood vessel disorders in people with Kawasaki syndrome.
How should I use GAMMAGARD S-D?
This medication is given by injection under the skin or slowly into a vein as directed by your doctor. Your health care professional will start the medication slowly while monitoring you closely. If you have few or no side effects, the medication will be given faster. Tell your health care professional right away if you experience any side effects such as flushing, chills, muscle cramps, back/joint pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. The infusion may need to be stopped or given more slowly. The dosage and frequency depends on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Keep all your medical/lab appointments.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take GAMMAGARD S-D?
See also Warning section. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other immunoglobulin products (such as CMV IgG); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain immune system problems (immunoglobulin A deficiency, monoclonal gammopathies), diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood fats (triglycerides), migraines, current blood infection (sepsis), kidney disease, severe loss of body fluids (dehydration). This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Some immune globulin products should not be used in people who have a certain metabolic hereditary problem (such as fructose/sucrose intolerance). Ask your doctor for more details. Some immune globulin products are made with maltose. This substance can cause false high blood sugar levels when your blood sugar is normal or even low. If you have diabetes, check with your pharmacist whether the product you are using contains maltose and whether your blood sugar testing supplies will work with this product. Rarely, serious problems have occurred when too much insulin was given because of false high sugar readings or when low blood sugar went untreated. Tell your doctor of any recent or planned immunizations/vaccinations. This medication may prevent a good response to certain live viral vaccines (such as measles, mumps, rubella, varicella). If you have recently received any of these vaccines, your doctor may have you tested for a response or have you vaccinated again later. If you plan on getting any of these vaccines, your doctor will instruct you about the best time to receive them so you get a good response. This medication is made from human blood. Even though the blood is carefully tested, and this medication goes through a special manufacturing process, there is an extremely small chance that you may get infections from the medication (for example, viruses such as hepatitis). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially the effects on the kidneys. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with GAMMAGARD S-D?
See also Warning section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs that may harm the kidneys (for example, aminoglycosides such as gentamicin), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide). This medication may interfere with certain tests (including certain blood sugar tests, blood type), possibly causing false test results. This can lead to serious (possibly fatal) consequences. Tell all laboratory personnel and all your doctors and pharmacists that you use this medication, and which type of blood sugar testing strips you use.
What should I watch for while using GAMMAGARD S-D?
This medication may cause serious (rarely fatal) kidney problems. The risk is higher if you have kidney problems, diabetes, a serious blood infection (sepsis), a certain blood problem (paraproteinemia), or a severe loss of body fluids (dehydration), as well as if you are older than 65 years or are taking other drugs that may harm the kidneys (such as gentamicin). This medication may also rarely cause serious blood clots (such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis). You may be at increased risk for blood clots if you are an older adult, are severely dehydrated, have a catheter in a vein close to your heart for administering medications, or have a history of blood clots, heart/blood vessel disease, heart failure, stroke, or if you are immobile (such as very long plane flights or bedridden). If you use estrogen-containing products, these may also increase your risk. Before using this medication, discuss the risks and benefits and if you have any of these conditions, report them to your doctor or pharmacist. The risk of kidney problems and blood clots may be decreased by infusing this medication more slowly or by using a less concentrated form of this medication if available. Being adequately hydrated before receiving this medication may also help reduce these risks. Get medical help right away if any of these side effects occur: sudden weight gain, swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, a change in the amount/color of urine, foamy/frothy urine, shortness of breath/rapid breathing, chest/jaw/left arm pain, unusual sweating, sudden dizziness/fainting, pain/swelling/warmth in the arm/leg, sudden/severe headache, trouble speaking, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, or confusion.
What if I miss a dose of GAMMAGARD S-D?
It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving GAMMAGARD S-D?
See also Warning section. Flushing, headache, dizziness, chills, muscle cramps, back/joint pain, fever, nausea, or vomiting may occur. Tell your doctor or other health care professional right away if any of these effects occur, last, or get worse. Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site may also occur. If these effects continue or become bothersome, tell your doctor. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. This medication may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: easy bleeding/bruising, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual tiredness. Treatment with this medication may rarely cause a serious inflammation of the brain (aseptic meningitis syndrome) several hours to 2 days after your treatment. Get medical help right away if you develop severe headache, stiff neck, drowsiness, high fever, sensitivity to light, eye pain, or severe nausea/vomiting. Lung problems may rarely occur 1 to 6 hours after your treatment. You will be monitored closely for any lung problems after your treatment. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep GAMMAGARD S-D?
Consult the product instructions and your pharmacist for storage details. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.