What are the indications for varicella zoster immune globulin (VariZIG by Cangene)?

Updated: Jul 12, 2021
  • Author: Richard Lichenstein, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas E Herchline, MD  more...
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Varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG) post exposure

  • Varicella zoster immune globulin (VariZIG by Cangene) is indicated for administration to high-risk individuals within 10 days (ideally within 4 days) of chickenpox (varicella zoster virus) exposure. If VariZIG is unavailable, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) can be used.

  • High-risk groups include the following:

    • Immunocompromised children and adults

    • Newborns of mothers with varicella shortly before or after delivery

    • Premature infants

    • Infants less than one year of age [6]

    • Adults without evidence of immunity

    • Pregnant women

  • VZIG is indicated in pregnant women for the prevention or reduction in severity of maternal infection within 10 days [5] (ideally within 96 hours of exposure to VZV). [2]

  • VZIG should be given to an infant if the mother develops varicella from 5 days before to 2 days after delivery

  • VZIG should be given to hospitalized premature infants of ≥28 wk gestation whose mothers have no history of varicella infection; also, VZIG should be given to hospitalized premature infants < 28 wk gestation or weighing ≤1000 g at birth regardless of maternal history when a significant exposure has occurred

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