Palivizumab (Synagis) is the only product on the American market for use in infants at high risk for adverse outcomes of a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
Palivizumab is a humanized mouse monoclonal antibody and has the benefit of being administrated intramuscularly rather than intravenously.
Palivizumab is given in five (maximum) monthly IM injections during RSV season (usually November through March or April depending on the region) and is generally well tolerated.
Palivizumab has shown to be safe and effective in reducing RSV hospitalizations in high-risk infants by 39% to 82%.
Palivizumab is an expensive drug; therefore, it is only recommended for high-risk infants.
RSV prophylaxis should be considered for the following infants:
Once opened, a vial of palivizumab must be used within 6 hours (there is no preservative). It can be given concurrently with vaccines.
Always consult the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or the CDC for the most current and specific recommendations of the adminstration of palivizumab, including the length of treatment.
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