Home treatment of hypogammaglobulinaemia with subcutaneous gammaglobulin by rapid infusion

Lancet. 1991 Jul 20;338(8760):162-6. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(91)90147-h.


Intramuscular and intravenous gammaglobulin treatment for hypogammaglobulinaemia is often associated with systemic adverse reactions in some patients. Subcutaneous infusions of gammaglobulin are usually given at a slow rate. To assess the safety of home treatment with subcutaneous gammaglobulin, rapid infusions (34-40 ml/h) given by small portable pumps were used to treat twenty-five patients with hypogammaglobulinaemia. Fifteen patients had previously had adverse reactions to intramuscular or intravenous gammaglobulin treatment. After the patients had been taught how to use the pumps during 6 months of treatment in hospital, in which they initially received 100 mg of an intramuscular gammaglobulin preparation/kg per week, they went on to use the pumps at home or at work. So far, the patients have given themselves 3232 rapid subcutaneous infusions (2308 in home therapy). A median pre-infusion serum IgG concentration of 8.1 g/l resulted after 6 months of treatment. There were only 30 (0.93%) mild systemic adverse reactions; there were fewer reactions with subcutaneous gammaglobulin than with previously given intramuscular injections (n = 21, p less than 0.001) or intravenous infusions (n = 9, p less than 0.001) in this group of patients. Overall, the patients spent 0.2 days a year in hospital due to respiratory tract infections. The findings show that the method for subcutaneous administration is very easy to learn and is appreciated by the patients; moreover, the infusions can be given much faster than previously reported without any pronounced local reaction.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agammaglobulinemia / therapy*
  • Aged
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusion Pumps
  • Infusions, Parenteral / methods
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • gamma-Globulins / administration & dosage*
  • gamma-Globulins / adverse effects


  • gamma-Globulins