Gammagard vs Gamunex – Comparison of Side Effects & Uses

Gammagard

It is the brand name of a medication called immune globulin. It is a sterilized solution made from human plasma.

This medication has antibodies which help your body protect itself from varied diseases.

Uses

It is used to strengthen the body’s natural defense system and to lower the risk of infection in people with a weakened immune system, like those suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

This medication is also used to treat chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, as well as to increase platelets in patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and to prevent an aneurysm caused by a weakening of the main artery.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 300 to 600 mg/kg every 3 to 4 weeks based on clinical response.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • minor chest pain;
  • a mild headache;
  • redness, warmth, or tingly feeling;
  • muscle cramps;
  • dizziness;
  • back pain;
  • tired feeling.

Rare side effects may include:

  • little or no urinating;
  • problems with vision or balance;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • slurred speech;
  • dark urine;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • sudden numbness or weakness;
  • fast heart rate;
  • vomiting;
  • swelling or redness in one or both legs;
  • nausea;
  • coughing up blood;
  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • rapid breathing;
  • neck stiffness;
  • wheezing;
  • severe headaches;
  • a sudden cough;
  • mouth sores;
  • high fever;
  • blue-colored appearance in your fingers or toes;
  • blue lips;
  • trouble breathing;
  • chest pain.

To make sure that this medicine is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a history of blood clots;
  • a history of stroke;
  • kidney disease;
  • a blood vessel disorder;
  • diabetes;
  • blood circulation problems;
  • a serious infection called sepsis;
  • heart disease;
  • if you use estrogens;
  • if you are dehydrated;
  • hyperproteinemia (the state of having overly high levels of protein in the blood);
  • if you have been bed-ridden due to severe illness;
  • paraproteinemia (the presence of excessive amounts of single monoclonal gammaglobulin in the blood);
  • if you are using a catheter;
  • if you are 65 years or older.
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Alcoholalcohol beer

Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using this medication as the known side effects may be substantially increased.

Drug Interactionspills (2)

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • gabapentin;
  • aspirin;
  • lisinopril;
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • prednisone;
  • clonazepam;
  • Symbicort (budesonide/formoterol);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • levothyroxine;
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • metformin;
  • trazodone;
  • omeprazole;
  • Zofran (ondansetron);
  • Topamax (topiramate);
  • Singulair (montelukast).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is unknown whether this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your healthcare provider before breastfeeding.

Also, during pregnancy, this drug should be used only when clearly needed since it may affect the unborn baby in a negative way.

Gamunex

It is the brand name of a medication called immune globulin, a formulation which may meet the needs of a variety of patient types with PIDD, CIDP, and ITP.

Uses

It is used in people with a certain blood problem to raise platelet levels. Additionally, it is used in people with a certain nervous system problem, such as – chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.

Dosage

The medication is given as an injection at your healthcare provider’s office.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • muscle cramps;
  • a mild headache;
  • minor chest pain;
  • dizziness;
  • redness or tingly feeling;
  • back pain;
  • tired feeling.

Rare side effects may include:

  • red or pink urine;
  • urinating less than usual;
  • a sudden cough;
  • vomiting;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • purple spots on the skin;
  • drowsiness;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • coughing up vomit which looks like coffee grounds;
  • chest tightness;
  • confusion;
  • sudden numbness or weakness;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • mood changes;
  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • nausea;
  • black or tarry stools;
  • chills;
  • wheezing;
  • weight gain;
  • dark colored urine;
  • increased thirst;
  • unusual bleeding (nose, vagina, mouth, or rectum);
  • neck stiffness;
  • red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • pale or yellowed skin;
  • warmth or swelling in one or both legs;
  • problems with vision or speech;
  • rapid breathing;
  • sudden severe headache.
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To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • blood circulation problems;
  • diabetes;
  • a blood vessel disorder;
  • a serious infection called sepsis;
  • heart disease;
  • hyperproteinemia (too much protein in the blood);
  • a history of blood clot;
  • a history of stroke;
  • paraproteinemia (abnormal proteins in the blood);
  • if you use birth control pills;
  • if you are 65 years or older;
  • if you are using a catheter;
  • if you have been bed-ridden due to severe illness;
  • if you are dehydrated.

Alcohol

Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using this medication as the known side effects may be substantially increased.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, like – sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) or mesalamine (Pentasa);
  • lithium (Lithobid);
  • antiviral medicines, like – adefovir (Hepsera), acyclovir (Zovirax), ganciclovir (Cytovene), foscarnet (Foscavir), valganciclovir (Valcyte), or valacyclovir (Valtrex);
  • IV antibiotics, like – amikacin (Amikin), amphotericin B (Amphotec, Abelcet), capreomycin (Capastat), bacitracin (Baci IM), kanamycin (Kantrex), or vancomycin (Vancocin);
  • tamiflu;
  • methotrexate (Trexall);
  • cancer medicines, like – carmustine (Gliadel), aldesleukin (Proleukin), oxaliplatin (Eloxatin), ifosfamide (Ifex), or tretinoin (Vesanoid);
  • medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, like – cyclosporine (Gengraf, Sandimmune) or tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • forteo;
  • pain or arthritis medicines, like – acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin (Anacin), naproxen (Aleve, Treximet), ibuprofen (Advil), indomethacin (Indocin), diclofenac (Arthrotec, Voltaren, Pennsaid, Solareze), or meloxicam (Mobic).

Pregnancy & Breastfeedingpregnant

It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk or if it could negatively affect an infant. Do not use this drug without telling your healthcare professional if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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Additionally, it is not known exactly whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant while using this drug.

Bottom Line – Gammagard vs Gamunex

Gammagard (active ingredient – immune globulin) is a sterilized solution which is made from human plasma. This medication contains the antibodies to help your body protect itself against infection from specific diseases.

Gamunex-C (active ingredient – immune globulin) is a medicine that is used to treat a condition called primary immune deficiency. It may also be used to treat other conditions, as determined by your doctor.

In conclusion, both medications contain the same active ingredient and the main difference between them is that the immune globulin content of the Gamunex-C is higher by 9 μg/mL than in Gammagard.

References

http://www.gammagard.com/MMN/healthcare-professionals/gammagard/pivotal-study-design.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25865232
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149291896801925

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