Children who have a high risk for serious complications from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) may receive palivizumab. This drug is given as an injection into a muscle. The palivizumab dosage will depend on the child's weight. This injection is given once a month, typically from November to April, which is the usual RSV season.
An Introduction to Your Dosage of PalivizumabThe dose of palivizumab (Synagis®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on your weight. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
Palivizumab Dosing GuidelinesThe usual dose of palivizumab for the prevention of serious respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections is 15 mg per kg body weight (about 6.8 mg per lb) once a month. The first dose is usually given before the RSV season begins, and monthly doses continue throughout the RSV season. The RSV season typically occurs from November to April, but may start earlier or end later in some areas.
Because palivizumab is usually given to young children (who grow rapidly), it is important to weigh the child before every dose. The amount that was right for last time might not be enough the next month.
Children who have cardiopulmonary bypass (a technique whereby a machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs, normally during open heart surgery) should receive a dose of palivizumab as soon as possible after their procedure, even if it has been less than a month since the last dose. Thereafter, the regular monthly dosing schedule can continue.
General Information on Using PalivizumabSome considerations to keep in mind during treatment with palivizumab include the following:
- This medication is given as an intramuscular (IM) injection (an injection into a muscle) once a month during the RSV season. The injection is usually administered in the thigh muscle.
- The injection is normally given by a healthcare provider in a healthcare setting, such as a doctor's office or clinic. You may be taught how to give this medicine at home. If so, make sure you fully understand how to give the injections before doing so.
- The palivizumab vial should be inspected before use. This medication should not be used if it contains particles or is discolored.
- Palivizumab comes in single-use vials. The vial should be thrown away after each dose, even if there is medicine remaining.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dose or palivizumab dosing in general, please talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.