What is the role of varicella zoster immune globulin (VariZIG by Cangene) in the prevention of pediatric chickenpox?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Varicella zoster immune globulin (VariZIG by Cangene) was approved by the FDA in December 2012. It is indicated for high-risk individuals within 10 days (ideally within 4 days) of chickenpox exposure. This agent reduces complications and the mortality rate of varicella, not its incidence. It is used as postexposure prophylaxis in high-risk individuals; for immunologically normal patients, postexposure prophylaxis using varicella vaccine is preferred. [27] High risk groups include:

  • Immunocompromised children and adults

  • Newborns of mothers with varicella shortly before or after delivery

  • Premature infants

  • Infants less than one year of age

  • Adults without evidence of immunity

  • Pregnant women


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