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Avatar universal

Gamma Globulin: the risk factor that's ignored!!

I was just visiting Medhelp's physician-moderated forum on hcv, and somebody had asked Dr. Dieterich if gamma globulin could be a source of infection.  Dr. D's response: "You bet it could."

I had no idea!  When I was a kid, gamma globulin was considered to be a miracle drug.  I remember distinctly getting a shot of the stuff when my brother had the measles, and I joked that it enabled me to have a "measly" case of the measles.

All this time, I thought I got hep c from work or a manicure or something like that because I've never been given blood or blood products.  So I googled gamma globulin, and it is a blood product.  It was given to oodles of kids back in the old days whenever they were exposed to measles or - GET THIS - to hepatitis!!
12 Responses
476246 tn?1418870914
Rhogam, which is given to RH negative women, if they have RH positive babies,  is also a human gamma globulin, and there is one person on this forum, who is pretty sure she was infected this way. I myself received 6 rhogam shots before 1991 and could have been infected this way. But I had other risk factors, too, which are theoretically more likely to have given me HCV. Also when I look back at any symptoms I could have had in the acute stage, it must have been in 1983, where I did not receive rhogam.

There were 100 woman in Ireland who got infected by the same batch of rhogam.

So yes, any human gamma globulin could have been infected, if it was made before they could screen HCV.

217229 tn?1192762404
I think this is how I was infected.

I want to do something about it but have NO CLUE how to even start.

Avatar universal
That is what I asked when I got here, and I got the shot to keep from getting hepatitis. Didn't know it was made from blood plasma, or I would've been tested in 1992.  I figure it was my destiny to find out later, I wouldn't have liked my options then, I don't think, and look at how much more afraid I'd've been, without this forum.

I have been spreading the word about it now though, and for that matter, for everyone to be tested anyway. There are so many ways one can get it, I've stopped at bloody accident scenes before, and gone home covered in it, so I don't know for sure, and who could really know??

Best wishes to you though, I saw that post, and knew what he'd say.


Avatar universal
My dogs want to send their kisses to Toby.  Be well...
Avatar universal
Toby says thanks! lol  I believe that it makes no difference how the shot was administered, it goes into the muscle, it's in you, your tissue, blood, all.  Like medical personel who get "stuck" with a dirty needle, it can happen, regardless of where that stick goes. There are people here who got it just that way.

Possibly the risk would be lower, but it takes such a minuscule amount of the infected product, who could say exactly how much lower?

Oh, and Meki, sorry to hear that is how you got it too. It's a shame we were never warned it was a risk factor. Wouldn't it also be a risk factor for HIV?  It's still not listed on any site I've seen yet.

Marcia, thanks for clearing up that Rhogam thing, I've seen that one listed before, but didn't know what it was given for, only that I'd not received it.

Going for that last hobble with the mutt now,
Avatar universal
Good Guys and Gals
If they knew someone contacted it from gamma globulin would they treat it differently
Avatar universal
The treatment is the same no matter how you got your hcv.  The disease is no different whether you got it from gamma globulin, a transfusion, IVDU or a manicure.  At this point it's pegylated interferon and ribavirin, with new additives like Vertex coming down the pike, no matter how you got it and what stage you're at.
Avatar universal
I'm 41 years old, and recently found out I have been exposed to Hep C, and am waiting for the test results. I'm scared. Very scared. I was dating a guy who didn't tell me he had Hep C, I am careful, and take my time to sleep with someone which is why it was never brought up. However, when we were messing around I point blanked asked him if he had any diseases. He came clean. But I was so freaked out because I had used his tooth brush a few days before this conversation. It was not my idea. We had eaten dinner at his house, after diner, he told me he sanitized his toothbrush and asked me to brush my teeth. I normally don't do this, but for some reason I thought I must have really bad breath or something. So, stupid me, did it. Basically, I am not with him anymore because of his lack of concern for my health. But now I am finding at the Gamma Globulin can cause it as well. I've had at least 4 if not 5 Gamma shots in my life. From the age of 19 to the age of 30. Wow, maybe I already have Hep C? This is really making me think back to some of the times I've been sick. Geee....I'm glad I stumbled upon this site. I'm RH Negative, had an abortion when I was 19, and also a few miscarriages and received these shots after each. Then I had my daughter and received another one. Is my daughter at risk? Could she have this disease as well? Oh my....This is very scary for me right now. I'm glad I have other people to talk to here. Maybe you can share your symptoms? Let me know what I should be concerned with?
408795 tn?1324935675
This is a very real concern and I wonder why the government is not letting the word out about this.  IMHO anybody who had those shots should be told about the possible exposure and tested.  I had HepA, when I was 16 or 17 and my whole family had to have those shots.  God Bless  
233616 tn?1312787196
dang....I remember when an employee got really sick I told him he looked like he had hepatitis...he was really yellow...at first he didn't beleive me....but I was persistant....and he went to the doc and they said it was type "non a-non b"  (which we now know means type C.

the health dept showed up...tested everybody...said to be careful we should all get gamma gobulin shots.

And since I worked ALL DAY right beside this guy, AND had also gone to dinner with him and our 2 sons once, I ran right out and got myself AND my son the shots!!!
that was in 83 or 4..............so great......whoop de do.

233616 tn?1312787196
what kind of a sicko would it take to want you to use his toothbrush when he knows he has HCV?  It sounds like someone who might be hoping you'd get it.

that may sound harsh, and I don't mean it to be, because I know how scared you must be....but if he didn't bother to tell you up front...and then is telling you to brush with his brush, he is either not very bright, or worse, has a malicious nature. It's pretty common knowledge when you get HCV you find out real quick that sharing toothbrushes, razors and the like are all considered big no-no's.

I wouldn't get yourself too alarmed, you need to wait on tests before doing that.
Kissing and sharing saliva is not the way you catch this disease, you can catch it from blood on an infected persons toothbrush, assuming that blood makes it through an open sore in your mouth and into your bloodstream. Kissing alone normally will not cause HCV, nor will sex unless it's rough and blood is exchanged.

Still the issue here is why didn't this man tell you. Whether it's HIV, or HCV or any other contageous or semi-contageous condition he had a moral responsiblity to tell you and let you decide how to proceed based on that knowledge. Just my opinion.

To calm you, know that many monogamous couples have one positive HCV and one negative for 30+ years of marriage, so it's not that easy to catch by having normal sexual relationships. I've been married 10 years, and my hubby has never caught this.

However, as to romeo, I think you should kick him to the curb...considering some forms of this disease are resistant to treatment, and can destroy ones liver, to not tell someone and even try to expose them more fully is akin to an attempt on their life.
Some won't see it that way, but everyone ever put through treatment or forced to have a transplant will tell you if someone deliberately gave this to them they should be horse whipped.....for starters.

Don't worry for your daughter, but until you have been given a clean bill of health be careful she doesn't used anything you do that could contain some blood, such as toothbrushes, razors or even nail clippers that you use.

Avatar universal
    I just want to say that everyone  in this world is human  and  no one  should be treated Different we all have feeling 's . alot  of people make the mestake to treat people with hepatitis different  , less  or even humilliate .             people with hepatitis  deserve to be treated  with respect just like everyone ealse no one asked hepatitis  to existing in the world  .                                                                                                                                                                                                             thank-you
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