Topic Overview

Human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG) is a shot that is given as soon
as possible after a likely exposure to
rabies. HRIG contains rabies antibodies that
immediately inactivate and control the rabies virus until the vaccine begins to
work.

  • HRIG is given only one time, at the beginning of
    treatment for rabies exposure.
  • The full dose of HRIG is injected
    into the exposure wound and into the area around the wound. Any remaining dose
    of HRIG will be injected into a different muscle from the one where the vaccine
    shot will be given.footnote 1
  • HRIG is given
    only to people who have not received the rabies vaccine before their most
    recent exposure. People who previously received the vaccine already have some
    rabies antibodies, and another HRIG injection can make the postexposure
    vaccination series less effective.
  • HRIG may cause pain at the site
    of the shot and a low-grade fever after the shot is given.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). Human rabies prevention-United States 2008. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR, 57(Early Release): 1-28. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5703a1.htm.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 3, 2017