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Rabies immune globulin (Intramuscular route)

Pronunciation:

RAY-beez i-MUNE GLOB-ue-lin

Brand Names:

  • Bayrab
  • HyperRAB S/D
  • Imogam Rabies-HT

Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Immune Serum

Uses of This Medicine:

Rabies immune globulin is used together with rabies vaccine to prevent infection caused by the rabies virus. Rabies immune globulin works by giving your body the antibodies it needs to protect it against the rabies virus. This is called passive protection. This passive protection lasts long enough to protect your body until your body can produce its own antibodies against the rabies virus.

Rabies immune globulin is given to persons who have been exposed (e.g., by a bite, scratch, or lick) to an animal that is known, or thought, to have rabies. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis. Rabies immune globulin is used only in persons who have never before received the rabies vaccine.

Rabies infection is a serious, and often fatal, infection. In the U.S., rabies in wild animals, especially raccoons, skunks, and bats, accounts for most cases of rabies passed on to humans, pets, and other domestic animals. In Canada, the animals most often infected with rabies are foxes, skunks, bats, dogs, and cats. Horses, swine, and cattle also have been known to become infected with rabies. In much of the rest of the world, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia, dogs account for most cases of rabies passed on to humans.

If you are being (or will be) treated for a possible rabies infection while traveling outside of the U.S. or Canada, contact your doctor as soon as you return to the U.S. or Canada, since it may be necessary for you to have additional treatment.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of rabies immune globulin in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Older adults—

No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of rabies immune globulin in geriatric patients.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersCAnimal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.

Breast-feeding—

Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bleeding disorders or
  • Thrombocytopenia (low number of platelets)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiencies—Rabies immune globulin may cause an allergic reaction to occur.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or clinic. A doctor, nurse, or other trained health professional will give you this medicine. It is given as a shot in the upper arm (deltoid) or thigh muscle. It may also be injected into the wound that caused your exposure to rabies (e.g., animal bite or scratch).

This medicine is given preferably at the time of your first rabies vaccine dose. It may also be given through the seventh day after the first dose of rabies vaccine is given.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check you closely to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

This medicine is made from donated human blood. Some human blood products have transmitted viruses to people who have received them, although the risk is low. Human donors and donated blood are both tested for viruses to keep the transmission risk low. Talk with your doctor about this risk if you are concerned.

While you are being treated with rabies immune globulin, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Live virus vaccines (e.g., measles, mumps, polio, rubella) should not be given within 3 months after receiving rabies immune globulin.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
Cloudy or bloody urine
high blood pressure
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
swelling of the face, feet, or lower legs

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
Fever
pain, soreness, tenderness, or stiffness at the injection site
Rare
Skin rash

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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