Anyone that follows me on Facebook knows that I receive biweekly IVIG treatments for neuropathy and the effects of chronic sarcoidosis and neural sarcoidosis. Wikipedia describes IVIG as follows:
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a blood product administered intravenously. It contains the pooled, polyvalent, IgG (immunoglobulin (antibody) G) extracted from the plasma of over one thousand blood donors. IVIG's effects last between 2 weeks and 3 months. It is mainly used as treatment in three major categories:
Immune deficiencies such as X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), hypogammaglobulinemia (primary immune deficiencies), and acquired compromised immunity conditions (secondary immune deficiencies) featuring low antibody levels.
Autoimmune diseases, e.g. immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), and inflammatory diseases, e.g. Kawasaki disease.
1 IVIG use
1.1 As asthma treatment
2 Mechanism of action
3 IVIG notes
4 IVIG dose
4.1 FDA-approved indications
4.2 In Phase III testing in the US (as of December 2008)
4.3 Off-label uses
5 Complications and side effects
IVIG is given as a plasma protein replacement therapy (IgG) for immune deficient patients who have decreased or abolished antibody production capabilities. In these immune deficient patients, IVIG is administered to maintain adequate antibody levels to prevent infections and confers a passive immunity. Treatment is given every 3–4 weeks. In the case of patients with autoimmune disease, IVIG is administered at a high dose (generally 1-2 grams IVIG per kg body weight) to attempt to decrease the severity of the autoimmune diseases such as dermatomyositis. Currently, IVIg is being increasingly used off-label in a number of pathological conditions; the increasing world-wide usage of IVIg may lead to shortages of this beneficial drug.
IVIG is useful in some acute infection cases such as pediatric HIV infection as well as autoimmune, such as Guillain–Barré syndrome.
In my case my immune system is over active which is creating small clumps of inflammatory cells called granulomas. This can effect nerves, joints, the respiratory system and also the heart. I have severe small fiber neuropathy, breathing issues, rheumatoid type joint pain and I get heart flutters, racing heart and light headed spells. The inflammation also cause sever blurriness in my left eye. IVIG helps regenerate the small fiberous nerve endinrying g and helps relieve other symptoms and reduce some of the pain.
I bring this up to because today was treatment day. Side effects vary. It can also be different every time. A normal treatment will give me a headache of varying degree, occasional flu like systems, and also a short spike in pain and discomfort I'm my ankles, wrists, arms and feet, the areas most affected by my personal version of the disease. Normally it will also slowly raise my heartbeat to over 110. My normal rate is 60 and was 55 this morning. Today brought something new. Phlebitis.
Phlebitis, simply put, simply put, is inflammation in the vein. During the final flush I notice pain at the site that traveled up the arm. Closer inspection showed redness and inflammation, especial for three inches or so from the IV site. So now I sit way a warm compress on it to reduce swelling. It hurts as well. The sad part of it is, the other effects are really mild this time. Now sometimes they hit the following day. Day after effects, for me anyway, are much worse. But this inflammation thing is new and I hope it isn't a sign of veins worsening .
The bottom line is Sarcoidosis can really suck. In fact it can be very serious, even resulting in death. If you get sarcoidosis do not panic. Most cases go into remission and often do not come back. Do research and get informed. More serious cases like mine need monitoring and treatment. For more information and ways you can donate go to http://stopsarcoidosis.org . Wi