Chemistry:Rabies immunoglobulin

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Rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) is a medication made up of antibodies against the rabies virus.[1] It is used to prevent rabies following exposure.[1] It is given after the wound is cleaned with soap and water or povidone-iodine and is followed by a course of rabies vaccine.[1] It is given by injection into the site of the wound and into a muscle.[1] It is not needed in people who have been previously vaccinated against rabies.[2]

Common side effects include pain at the site of injection, fever, and headache.[1] Severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis may rarely occur.[3] Use during pregnancy is not known to harm the baby.[1] It works by binding to the rabies virus before it can enter nerve tissue.[1] After the virus has entered the central nervous system, rabies immunoglobulin is no longer useful.[1]

The use of rabies immunoglobulin in the form of blood serum dates from 1891.[4] Use become common within medicine in the 1950s.[5] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.[6] Rabies immunoglobulin is expensive and hard to come by in the developing world.[7] In the United States it is estimated to be more than 1,000.00 USD per dose.[8] It is made from the blood plasma of people or horses who have high levels of the antibody in their blood.[1][8] The horse version is less expensive but has a higher rate of side effects.[8][5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Rabies Immune Globulin". The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Archived from the original on 24 September 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  2. WHO Model Formulary 2008. World Health Organization. 2009. p. 398. ISBN 9789241547659. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  3. British national formulary : BNF 69 (69 ed.). British Medical Association. 2015. p. 869. ISBN 9780857111562. 
  4. Plotkin, [edited by] Stanley A.; Orenstein, Walter A.; Offit, Paul A. (2013) (in en). Vaccines (6th ed.). [Edinburgh]: Elsevier/Saunders. p. 659. ISBN 978-1455700905. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jong, Elaine C.; Zuckerman, Jane N. (2004) (in en). Travelers' Vaccines. PMPH-USA. p. 205. ISBN 9781550092257. 
  6. World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2019. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO. 
  7. Tintinalli, Judith E. (2010). Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide (Emergency Medicine (Tintinalli)) (7 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies. pp. 1054. ISBN 978-0-07-148480-0. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 (in en) Research Advances in Rabies. Academic Press. 2011. p. 351. ISBN 9780123870414. 

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