Rabies: HRIG Injection

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.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?s_cid=rr5703a1_e.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last Revised August 27, 2012

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