• Rho (D) Immune Globulin (WinRho®)

    What is Rho (D) Immune Globulin, also known as WinRho®?

    • WinRho® is a medicine used to treat immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).
    • It is given to increase the platelet count.
    • How WinRho® works is not completely understood.
    • ITP is an autoimmune disease in which your body makes antibodies against platelets.
    • These "antibody coated platelets" are seen as "foreign" cells by the body and are destroyed.
    • WinRho® is a medicine that contains a high amount of antibodies that like to attach to red blood cells.
    • After treatment with WinRho®, the body becomes "busy" destroying these "antibody coated red blood cells" therefore leaving the "antibody coated platelets" alone.
    • In a sense, WinRho® causes a mild anemia (low red blood cell count) intentionally, to allow the platelet count in the body to rise.

    How is WinRho® made?

    • WinRho® comes from human plasma. Human plasma is the liquid part of the blood that does not contain red blood cells.
    • Special processes are used in manufacturing WinRho® to make it safe. These processes clean out any known viruses that may be found in human plasma.

    What are the benefits of WinRho®?

    • WinRho® has been shown to temporarily raise platelet counts in patients with ITP
    • WinRho® may be administered quickly over a few minutes.
    • WinRho® is significantly less expensive than some other treatments used to treat ITP

    How is WinRho® given?

    • WinRho® is given in the vein by intravenous infusion.
    • WinRho® is given during an outpatient visit in the Center for Ambulatory Treatment and Clinical Research (CAT/CR) on Farley 4.
    • Most WinRho® infusions take 30-60 minutes.
    • During the infusion, a nurse will carefully observe you/your child.

    What are the possible side effects of WinRho®?

    • Temporary side effects from WinRho® are common and may include:
      • fever
      • chills
      • headache
      • nausea/vomiting
      • anemia
    • To avoid or minimize these symptoms you/your child may receive medication immediately before treatment with WinRho®. You/your child may receive additional IV fluid during your treatment. This extra fluid has been shown to ease side effects.

    What are the risks of WinRho®?

    • There is always a small risk that blood products may contain viruses that cause infection.
    • There is small chance that a severe allergic reaction to WinRho® may occur. If that happens, the WinRho( infusion will be stopped. Medications used to treat allergic reactions will be given immediately.
    • WinRho® causes mild anemia in many patients, and rarely (in about 1 in 100 patients or less) can cause significant anemia and breakdown of red blood cells.
    • Avoid "live" vaccines (check with your doctor) within 3 months of WinRho®.

    Are there choices that work as well as WinRho®?

    • There is more than one way to treat ITP.
    • These treatments include, but are not limited to steroids, gammaglobulin, observation, and splenectomy.
    • Each treatment, including WinRho®, has its own benefits and risks as well as cost consideration.
    • You and your/your child's physician, working together, are best equipped to decide the best treatment for you/your child.

    Who to Call with Questions

    If you have questions or concerns, please call your/your child's primary hematologist.

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