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How is primary immunodeficiency treated?

How your primary immunodeficiency is treated is based on which type you have. Certain types of PI are associated with low immunoglobulin (Ig) G levels (immunoglobulins are proteins that help fight infection).

One treatment option is Ig therapy, which replaces the IgG that is not functioning properly, missing, or in low amounts. lg therapy is:

  • Made from a collection of donated plasma of carefully screened donors that is manufactured and purified under strict conditions for efficacy and safety
  • Infused because it is made from plasma and cannot be put into pill form

Ig infusions are typically given 2 ways:

Into the vein:
intravenous lg, or IVIg
IVIg therapy like Privigen is administered into the vein by a medical professional either at a medical facility or in your home, about every 3 to 4 weeks
Just below the skin:
subcutaneous Ig, or SCIg
SCIg products are typically self-administered using an infusion pump and small needle, anywhere from daily to every 4 weeks*

Deciding which type of Ig therapy is right for you or your child is up to you and your doctor.

*Varies by product

What can I expect with Privigen IVIg?

Privigen was proven safe and effective for treating primary immunodeficiency in a 1-year study that gave participants the opportunity to continue treatment in a long-term study. 80 patients received Privigen for 12 months, and 55 received Privigen for up to 29 months.


Study one

12 months
80 patients
3.55 infections/year
0.08 acute serious bacterial infections*/year

Study two

Up to 29 months
55 patients
1.60 infections/year
0.02 acute serious bacterial infections*/year

*Defined as pneumonia, bacterial meningitis, bacteremia/septicemia, osteomyelitis/septic arthritis, or visceral abscess.

How safe is Privigen?

Two clinical studies also showed that Privigen IVIg infusions are safe and effective in the treatment of primary immunodeficiency.

  • 97% of the side effects patients had with Privigen in the pivotal study were non-serious—and 96% were non-serious in the extension study
    • Serious side effects in the one-year study all occurred in one subject, one of three who withdrew from the study due to adverse reactions. In the long-term study one subject withdrew because of a mild case of hives
  • In clinical trials of Privigen for PI, headache was the most common side effect. Other common side effects with PI treatment include fatigue, nausea, fever, chills, vomiting, and back pain
  • These are not the only side effects possible; see the full prescribing information, including boxed warning, for a complete list of adverse reactions possible with treatment for each condition. Alert your physician to any side effect that bothers you or does not go away

Tips for adults living with PI

Privigen helps protect the health of patients with primary immunodeficiency by supplying their immune systems with antibodies to help prevent infections. But there are several things you can do on a daily basis to further help your immune system:

  • Work with your doctor to manage your PI and ask about treatments that can fit easily into your lifestyle
  • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet provides nutrients necessary for normal growth and development, body repair, and maintenance. A well-balanced, nutritious diet is especially important for people with PI, because a lack of adequate nutrition can lead to many illnesses and infections
  • Exercise. People who exercise regularly tend to get sick less often than those who do not
  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for good health
  • Adopt good hygiene habits:
    • Bathe or shower regularly
    • Wash your hands before meals, after using the bathroom, after coughing, and any time there's a chance that germs have gotten onto your hands
    • Carry disposable hand wipes or antibacterial gel for times when soap and water are not available
  • Visit your dentist regularly, and brush your teeth and floss daily
  • Avoid exposure to people with infections or signs of an infection
  • Manage stress. Your body doesn't work as well when you are stressed or overwhelmed with fatigue, so it doesn't help to push yourself at those times. Make time for rest and relaxation. Take a nap, learn how to meditate, or use deep breathing or other relaxation exercises
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Focus not on what you can't do, but what you can do instead. Consider the gifts and abilities you have and use them regularly

Tips for caring for a child with PI

  • Coordinate your child's care across all members of the healthcare team
    • You may find it helpful to keep a diary to record important information such as lab results and current insurance information
  • Be your child's advocate, but slowly transition those personal responsibilities to him/her as he/she gets older. These include:
    • Asking doctors questions about the diagnosis, treatment, and plan
    • Keeping track of how Ig therapy is going and if there are any side effects
    • Asking what can be done to improve your child's health in regard to diet, physical activity, sleep, and social engagements
    • Effectively communicating with schools when your child misses class due to primary immunodeficiency
    • Building positive relationships with your child's teachers, therapists, coaches, etc. Communication is key
Privigen is safe and effective

approved for use in PI and chronic ITP

Privigen is proven effective and safe and is the only IVIg stabilized with proline.

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