At FOSRX/FAST we believe in a better quality of life for patients and their healthcare partners when treating and managing complex conditions. Specialty products combined with personalized guidance and support from clinical experts, our patients, providers and partners are positioned for successful therapy management.
Immunodeficiency is a condition in which the body’s immune system is weakened. It occurs when the body isn’t able to make enough antibodies, which help the body fight off sickness. Because of their lowered number of antibodies, people with immunodeficiency are more likely to be sick and to have infections.
Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins (Igs), are proteins produced by plasma cells and lymphocytes in human blood that are used to fight off infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Ig deficiency is caused by the person’s inability to produce antibodies as a result of illness or other factors. Some Ig deficiencies can be addressed through replacement therapies including intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and subcutaneous (SCIg) therapies.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is an immunomodulating agent that has an effect on the immune system and is used to treat a number of autoimmune conditions. Another term for immunoglobulin is antibody. Treatment can be given intravenously (IVIg) with pooled human plasma stabilized with various ingredients, or under the skin subcutaneously (SQIg). Depending upon physician orders, infusions of IVIg and SCIg therapies can be administered in an outpatient clinic, or in the patient’s home.
IVIg therapy is often used for the following conditions:
- Primary Immune Deficiency Disease (PIDD)
- Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia
- Kawasaki syndrome
- Recent bone marrow transplantation in patients aged greater than or equal to 20 years
- Chronic B-cell lymphocytic leukemia
- Pediatric human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Pupura (ITP)
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
- Adult HIV
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
MEDICATIONS DISPENSED THROUGH FOSRX/FAST:
- Gammagard Liquid
The following resources may be helpful for learning more about immunodeficiency, how it’s treated and what medications are used. The links below may also help you to find support services, connect with advocacy groups and learn about new research being done on this condition.
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
- Immune Deficiency Foundation
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
- Primary Immunodeficiency (Jeffrey Modell Foundation)
- Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) website: click here.
- IDF patient family handbook: click here.
- Helpful website dealing with neurological conditions
treated with IgG: click here.
- Recommended pump: click here.
Immunomodulators, also known as immunosuppressants, help regulate, normalize, weaken, or modulate the activity of the immune system which decreases an inflammatory response. Immunomodulators are most often used in organ transplantation to prevent rejection of the new organ, and in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Since the late 1960s, they have also been used to treat people with IBD, which appears to be caused by an overactive immune system. These drugs are appropriate for those who:
- do not respond to aminosalicylates, antibiotics, or corticosteroids
- have steroid-dependent disease or frequently require steroids
- have experienced side effects with corticosteroid treatment
- have perineal disease that does not respond to antibiotics
- have fistulas (abnormal channels between two loops of intestine, or between the intestine and another structure—such as the skin)
- need to maintain remission
An immunomodulator may be combined with a corticosteroid to speed up response during active flares of disease. Lower doses of the steroid are required in this case, producing fewer side effects. Corticosteroids also may be withdrawn more rapidly when combined with immunomodulators. For that reason, immunomodulators are sometimes referred to as “steroid-sparing” drugs.
- Immunomodulators reduce the activity of the immune system. In so doing, they also decrease the body’s ability to combat infection. Be sure to report any incidence of fever, chills, or sore throat to your doctor.
- Blood tests should be performed frequently with all immunomodulators to check for effects on the bone marrow, liver, and kidneys. Blood pressure and kidney function need to be closely monitored with cyclosporine A and tacrolimus.
- Women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant should talk to their doctors before taking immunomodulators. Methotrexate use should be avoided (by pregnant women and by both men and women for several months before conception) because it may lead to pregnancy loss or possible birth defects.
MEDICATIONS DISPENSED THROUGH FOSRX/FAST
- 17 Jun 2015
- FOSRX/FAST Services