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Brand Name:
VariZIG
Other Names:
varicella zoster immune globulin
Drug Class:
Immune Globulins
 
What is VariZIG?What is VariZIG?

What is VariZIG?

VariZIG is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of primary varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection (also called varicella or chicken pox) in people at high-risk for severe disease. People at high risk of severe varicella include pregnant women, premature infants, and children and adults who are immunocompromised. VariZIG is intended to reduce the severity of varicella if infection occurs.

Primary VZV infection can be an opportunistic infection (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about opportunistic infections, read the HIVinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.

The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children include recommendations on the use of VariZIG for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of primary VZV infection in people with HIV.

The recommended uses may not always be consistent with FDA-approved uses of VariZIG. See the Adult and Pediatric Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for complete information on recommended uses of VariZIG in adults and children with HIV. VariZIG may have other recommended uses not listed above.

What should I tell my health care provider before receiving VariZIG?What should I tell my health care provider before receiving VariZIG?

What should I tell my health care provider before receiving VariZIG?

Before receiving VariZIG, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to VariZIG or any other medicines.
  • About any medical conditions you have or have had, particularly:
    • If you have ever had an anaphylactic reaction or a severe systemic allergic reaction to human immune globulin preparations.
    • If you are deficient in immunoglobulin A (IgA).
  • About anything that may prevent you from receiving medicine by injection.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of receiving VariZIG during pregnancy. The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV  may include other recommendations on the use of VariZIG during pregnancy. Please refer to these guidelines for additional information.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. VariZIG may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how VariZIG works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between VariZIG and the medicines you take.

Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from VariZIG. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you have side effects.

How is VariZIG given?How is VariZIG given?

How is VariZIG given?

VariZIG dosing is based on a person’s weight. The dose is divided and given by intramuscular injection. VariZIG is given as soon as possible after exposure to VZV, ideally within 96 hours of exposure for the greatest effectiveness. A person re-exposed to VZV more than 3 weeks after receiving VariZIG may get a second dose of the drug.

Where can I find more information about VariZIG?Where can I find more information about VariZIG?

Where can I find more information about VariZIG?

Last Reviewed: April 13, 2021