Atgam

Drug List

Atgam

Drug Name

Atgam (Lymphocyte immune globulin and Anti-thymocyte globulin)

Manufactured By

Pfizer, Inc

Drug Savings

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Treats Disease/Condition

Uses

Two antithymocyte globulin (ATG) agents licensed for clinical use in the United States are Thymoglobulin (rabbit ATG, rATG, Genzyme) and Atgam (equine ATG, eATG, Pfizer). Thymoglobulin and Atgam are currently licensed for use in the treatment of renal allograft rejection; Atgam is additionally licensed for use in the treatment of aplastic anemia. Both drugs are used in off-label applications, especially as immunosuppression induction agents before and/or during kidney transplantation. An rATG product made by Neovii Pharmaceuticals is marketed outside of the United States under the name Grafalon . ATG administration very substantially reduces immune competence in patients with normal immune systems, through a combination of actions, some explicitly understood and some more hypothetical. rATG in particular effects large reductions (through cell lysis) in the number of circulating T-lymphocytes, hence preventing (or at least delaying) the cellular rejection of transplanted organs. However, medical opinion remains divided as to when the benefit of this profound reduction in T-cells outweighs the concomitant increased risks of infection and malignancy.

How To Use

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.

Side Effects

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.

Drug Interactions

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.

In Case of Overdose

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

In Case of Missed Dose

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

Storage