Immunoglobulin (also called immune globulin or gamma globulin) is a protein in human blood and tissue fluids. These proteins are also called antibodies, which help the body's immune system recognize and destroy foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses.
Immunoglobulin (IG) may be given to help prevent an illness after exposure to an infected person. It can also be given to people with certain immune system deficiencies to prevent infections. Immunoglobulin is usually taken from the blood of people recovering from the illness. For example, the immunoglobulin given to help prevent hepatitis A infection is taken from the blood of people who are recovering from hepatitis A virus infection.
The protection provided by an immunoglobulin injection lasts from days to months, depending on the disease.
Current as of: September 9, 2014
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
Public Health Alerts
Public health alerts include information about outbreaks, advisories and product recalls. Click on the links below to read the most recent alerts, or visit our Public Health Alerts web page.
Tell Us About Your Visit
FIND Services and Resources
If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use our directory to FIND hospitals, clinics, and other resources.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Is it an emergency?
If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.