Generic name: equine thymocyte immune globulin
Dosage form: injection, solution
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Renal Allograft Recipients
Adult renal allograft patients have received ATGAM Sterile Solution at the dosage of 10 to 30 mg/kg of body weight daily. The few children studied received 5 to 25 mg/kg daily. ATGAM has been used to delay the onset of the first rejection episode(2–5) and at the time of the first rejection episode.(6–10) Most patients who received ATGAM for the treatment of acute rejection had not received it starting at the time of transplantation.
Usually, ATGAM is used concomitantly with azathioprine and corticosteroids, which are commonly used to suppress the immune response. Exercise caution during repeat courses of ATGAM; carefully observe patients for signs of allergic reactions.
Delaying the Onset of Allograft Rejection
Give a fixed dose of 15 mg/kg daily for 14 days, then every other day for 14 days for a total of 21 doses in 28 days. Administer the first dose within 24 hours before or after the transplant.
The recommended dosage regimen is 10 to 20 mg/kg daily for 8 to 14 days. Additional alternate-day therapy up to a total of 21 doses can be administered.(11–13) Because thrombocytopenia can be associated with the administration of ATGAM, patients receiving it for the treatment of aplastic anemia may need prophylactic platelet transfusions to maintain platelets at clinically acceptable levels.
Preparation of Solution
Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. However, because ATGAM is a gamma globulin product, it can be transparent to slightly opalescent, colorless to faintly pink or brown, and may develop a slight granular or flaky deposit during storage. ATGAM (diluted or undiluted) should not be shaken because excessive foaming and/or denaturation of the protein may occur.
Dilute ATGAM for intravenous infusion in an inverted bottle of sterile vehicle so the undiluted ATGAM does not contact the air inside. Add the total daily dose of ATGAM to the sterile vehicle (see Compatibility and Stability). The concentration should not exceed 4 mg of ATGAM per mL. The diluted solution should be gently rotated or swirled to effect thorough mixing.
The diluted ATGAM should be allowed to reach room temperature before infusion. ATGAM is appropriately administered into a vascular shunt, arterial venous fistula, or a high-flow central vein through an in-line filter with a pore size of 0.2 to 1.0 micron. The in-line filter should be used with all infusions of ATGAM to prevent the administration of any insoluble material that may develop in the product during storage. The use of high-flow veins will minimize the occurrence of phlebitis and thrombosis. Do not infuse a dose of ATGAM in less than 4 hours. Always keep appropriate resuscitation equipment at the patient's bedside while ATGAM is being administered. Observe the patient continuously for possible allergic reactions throughout the infusions (See ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Compatibility and Stability
ATGAM, once diluted, has been shown to be physically and chemically stable for up to 24 hours at concentrations of up to 4 mg per mL in the following diluents: 0.9% sodium chloride injection, 5% dextrose and 0.225% sodium chloride injection, and 5% dextrose and 0.45% sodium chloride injection.
Adding ATGAM to dextrose injection is not recommended, as low salt concentrations can cause precipitation. Highly acidic infusion solutions can also contribute to physical instability over time. It is recommended that diluted ATGAM be stored in a refrigerator if it is prepared prior to the time of infusion. Even if it is stored in a refrigerator, the total time in dilution should not exceed 24 hours (including infusion time).