Medication Guide App

Thymoglobulin

Generic Name: anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit) (AN tee THYE moe syt GLOB ue lin)
Brand Name: Thymoglobulin

What is anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)?

Anti-thymocyte globulin is a sterilized solution made of the cells of rabbits that have been injected with white blood cells from humans.

Anti-thymocyte globulin lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.

Anti-thymocyte globulin is used together with other medicines to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney transplant.

Anti-thymocyte globulin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to rabbit proteins, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to anti-thymocyte globulin.

To make sure you can safely take anti-thymocyte globulin, tell your doctor if you have an active or chronic infection, or a serious infection called sepsis.

Slideshow: View Frightful (But Dead Serious) Drug Side Effects

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with anti-thymocyte globulin. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, mouth and throat ulcers, rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, weakness, tired feeling, or feeling like you might pass out.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using anti-thymocyte globulin. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to rabbit proteins, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to anti-thymocyte globulin.

To make sure you can safely take anti-thymocyte globulin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • an active or chronic infection; or

  • a serious infection called sepsis.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether anti-thymocyte globulin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether anti-thymocyte globulin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using anti-thymocyte globulin.

Using anti-thymocyte globulin may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

How is anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit) given?

Anti-thymocyte globulin is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Anti-thymocyte globulin must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take 4 to 6 hours to complete.

You may be given other medications to help prevent serious side effects or allergic reaction.

Anti-thymocyte globulin can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your anti-thymocyte globulin injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using anti-thymocyte globulin. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

Anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with anti-thymocyte globulin. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • mouth and throat ulcers;

  • rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing;

  • weakness, tired feeling; or

  • feeling like you might pass out.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • white patches inside your mouth or on your lips;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • swollen glands, rash or itching, joint pain;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, general ill feeling; or

  • high potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

  • swelling in your hands or feet; or

  • pain, swelling, or redness where the injection was given.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit)?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially other drugs that weaken the immune system.

There may be other drugs that can interact with anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit). Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about anti-thymocyte globulin (rabbit).
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.02. Revision Date: 2013-12-03, 4:16:24 PM.

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