lymphocyte immune globulin, anti-thymocyte (equine)

Pronunciation: LIM foe site i MUNE GLOB ue lin, AN tee THYE moe site (EE kwine )

Brand: Atgam

What is the most important information I should know about this medicine?

You will receive this medicine in a hospital or clinic setting to quickly treat any serious side effects that occur. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What is lymphocyte immune globulin, anti-thymocyte (equine)?

Lymphocyte immune globulin anti-thymocyte (also called equine anti-thymocyte immune globulin), is an immunosuppressant that 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.

Lymphocyte immune globulin is used to treat or prevent organ rejection after a kidney transplant. Lymphocyte immune globulin is also used to treat aplastic anemia (a condition in which your bone marrow does not produce enough new blood cells).

Lymphocyte immune globulin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this medicine?

You should not receive lymphocyte immune globulin if you are allergic to it.

To make sure lymphocyte immune globulin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease; or
  • if you have received a vaccine in the past 6 months.

It is not known whether lymphocyte immune globulin will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

It is not known whether lymphocyte immune globulin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Lymphocyte immune globulin is made of certain blood products from horses and may contain viruses and other infectious agents. These blood components are tested and treated to reduce the risk of it containing infectious agents, but there is still a small possibility it could transmit disease. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

How is this medicine given?

Before you are treated with lymphocyte immune globulin, your doctor may perform a skin test to make sure you are not allergic to lymphocyte immune globulin.

Lymphocyte immune globulin is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Lymphocyte immune globulin is sometimes given daily and sometimes given every other day. The medicine is injected slowly, and can take at least 4 hours to complete.

You may be given other medicines to suppress your immune system while you are receiving lymphocyte immune globulin. Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

While using lymphocyte immune globulin, you may need frequent blood tests.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because you will receive lymphocyte immune globulin in a clinical setting, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medicine is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving this medicine?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine for at least 6 months after your last dose of lymphocyte immune 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), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of this medicine?

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

Tell your caregivers right away if you have:

  • fast heartbeat, trouble breathing;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • low white blood cell counts --fever, swollen glands, skin sores, rash or itching, muscle or joint pain, feeling very weak or tired.

Common side effects may include:

  • fever, chills, night sweats, or other signs of infection;
  • blisters or ulcers in your mouth, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • pain where the medicine was injected;
  • red or itching skin;
  • abnormal liver or kidney function tests;
  • dizziness, headache, confusion; or
  • redness, swelling, warmth, irritation, or tenderness in the veins of your arms or legs.

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.

What other drugs will affect this medicine?

Other drugs may interact with lymphocyte immune globulin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about lymphocyte immune globulin, anti-thymocyte (equine).

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