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December - January 2017

Treating Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders with Immune Globulin

Human immune globulin (IG) is a true renaissance drug - the Benvenuto Cellini of the pharmacopeia because of its multiple forms, uses, mechanisms and, sadly, side effects. It is, with the exception of corticosteroids, used in more diseases than any other drug or biologic. Indeed, entire volumes and symposia discuss its therapeutic use, as do 14,000 articles cited in PubMed. Antibody therapy dates back to the 1890s, when Emil von Behring used horse antibodies to tetanus and diphtheria toxins to save the lives of... full article

Hyaluronidase-Facilitated SCIG

Since the beginning of its use, immune globulin (IG) therapy has been administered through various delivery methods. Historically, it was given as an intramuscular injection, which has largely fallen out of favor due to poor tolerance by most patients. Currently, IG therapy is either administered intravenously (IVIG) or subcutaneously (SCIG). IVIG quickly achieves a high serum concentration with an initial peak and declining levels throughout the dosing cycle, leading to a trough at the end of the cycle. IVIG administration advantages include infrequent dosing (usually ranging every three to four weeks for primary immunodeficiency [PI] indications) and the ability to deliver a large amount of IG in one infusion. However, several challenges...full article

Social Media and Chronic Illness

In 2014, PEW Research Center reported that 74 percent of adults interact socially on the Internet.1 Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Tumblr, social media platforms have one thing in common: self-disclosure. They are sites where people often reveal personal information about themselves to friends, acquaintances and, sometimes, strangers... full article

For the Record - The Case for Managing Medical Records

DOCTOR AND POET William Carlos Williams once wrote that so much depends on a red wheelbarrow. Though not nearly as idyllic, in the world of modern healthcare, so much depends on medical records. Despite their importance, many people never even think about their medical records. And it’s no wonder, given the way providers have traditionally viewed these documents. “In medical school, we learn that medical records exist so that doctors can communicate with other doctors,” says Leana Wen, MD, an emergency room physician. “No one told us about the benefits they could bring when shared with patients.”...full article