What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Palivizumab?
If you miss an appointment to receive palivizumab, contact your healthcare provider as soon as you remember to reschedule. It is important to try and remember all of your appointments to receive this medicine, as each injection only provides protection against RSV
disease for about one month.
How Does It Work?
Palivizumab is a monoclonal antibody. Antibodies are proteins normally produced by the immune system that bind to harmful substances in the body, such as viruses and bacteria, and help the body fight them. Monoclonal antibodies are made in a laboratory. Palivizumab works by binding to RSV, which prevents the virus from reproducing.
Palivizumab is not a vaccine, and it does not prevent an RSV infection. Instead, it prevents an infection from becoming severe enough to cause serious problems. Each dose of palivizumab works against RSV for 28 to 30 days. Therefore, a shot is needed each month protection against RSV is needed.
Clinical Effects of Palivizumab
In clinical studies, palivizumab was shown to reduce the need for hospitalization in infants at risk for serious illness after an RSV infection. In these studies, up to 5.8 percent of infants who received the drug were hospitalized for an RSV infection. In comparison, 10.6 percent of infants given a placebo injection (an injection that did not contain any active ingredients) were hospitalized for an RSV infection.
When and How to Use This Medication
Some general 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 usually 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 medication remaining.
- For this drug to work properly, it must be used as prescribed. Try to keep all of your appointments to receive palivizumab until your healthcare provider tells you it is no longer needed.