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Lymphocyte immune globulin

Generic Name: anti-thymocyte globulin (equine) (AN-tee-THY-moe-site GLOB-ue-lin (E-kwine))
Brand Name: Atgam

Lymphocyte immune globulin is used for:

Treating rejection in kidney transplant patients. It is also used with other medicines to delay the onset of kidney transplant rejection. Lymphocyte immune globulin is also used to treat moderate to severe aplastic anemia in certain patients who cannot have a bone marrow transplant.

Lymphocyte immune globulin is a lymphocyte-selective immunosuppressant. It works by decreasing the action of certain types of blood cells (T lymphocytes), which are part of the body's immune system.

Do NOT use lymphocyte immune globulin if:

  • you are allergic to lymphocyte immune globulin, any ingredient in lymphocyte immune globulin, or any other gamma globulin made from horse serum

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using lymphocyte immune globulin:

Some medical conditions may interact with lymphocyte immune globulin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have blood problems (eg, anemia)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with lymphocyte immune globulin. However, no specific interactions with lymphocyte immune globulin are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if lymphocyte immune globulin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use lymphocyte immune globulin:

Use lymphocyte immune globulin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Lymphocyte immune globulin is given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of lymphocyte immune globulin, contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use lymphocyte immune globulin.

Important safety information:

  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take lymphocyte immune globulin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Lymphocyte immune globulin is made using horse and human blood parts. There is an extremely rare risk of getting a viral disease or a central nervous system disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. No cases of viral diseases or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have been found in patients who have used lymphocyte immune globulin.
  • Lymphocyte immune globulin may cause dizziness or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use lymphocyte immune globulin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Lymphocyte immune globulin may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Lymphocyte immune globulin may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • A skin test is normally performed before the first dose to check for possible allergy to horse serum.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are using lymphocyte immune globulin or for 6 months after using it. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Lab tests, including blood cell counts, liver function tests, and kidney function tests, may be performed to monitor your condition or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if lymphocyte immune globulin can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using lymphocyte immune globulin while you are pregnant. It is not known if lymphocyte immune globulin is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feeding while taking lymphocyte immune globulin.

Possible side effects of lymphocyte immune globulin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; muscle or joint pain; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest, flank, or back pain; confusion; fainting; fast heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or light-headedness; shortness of breath; unusual bleeding or bruising.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of lymphocyte immune globulin:

Lymphocyte immune globulin is handled and stored by a health care provider. You will not store it at home.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about lymphocyte immune globulin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Lymphocyte immune globulin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take lymphocyte immune globulin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about lymphocyte immune globulin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to lymphocyte immune globulin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your health care provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using lymphocyte immune globulin.

Issue Date: June 3, 2015

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.