Background Intravenous immunoglobulins (IgIV) represent a therapeutic option with high cost and limited availability. As a consequence it is necessary to evaluate their use basing it on the scientific evidence and prioritising the indications.
Purpose To examine the suitability of immunoglobulin prescriptions regarding the indication and recommended dose.
Materials and methods We studied patients treated with IgIV between January 2012 and June 2013. We checked the prescriptions against The Clinical Guidelines for Immunoglobulin Use edited by the British Department of Health. We recorded the prescribing department, indication for the prescription, dosing regimens and approved or non-approved indications.
Results A total of 34 patients were treated with a standard dose of 0.4 g/kg, 44% of prescriptions came from Haematology, 24% from Oncology, 15% Immunology, 9% Neurology and 8% from other services. The distribution of patients according to the prescribing indication was: idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (38%), primary immunodeficiencies (23%), secondary immunodeficiencies (15%), autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (6%), Rasmussen’s syndrome (3%) and others (15%). 91% of the prescriptions were for an approved indication, 3% were approved but not scientifically supported and 6% not approved or accepted. The most frequent patterns were 30 g for 4 days and 35 g every 28 days.
Conclusions Most of the prescriptions written were for approved indications. A low percentage of prescriptions were for unapproved indications, which were required as compassionate use. The pattern and duration of treatment were appropriate to the treated pathologies.
No conflict of interest.
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