crsheader Index Related Topics Synagis

What is Synagis used for?

Synagis is a medicine that helps prevent serious lung infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is highly contagious. It is spread by contact with infected fluids from the nose or mouth and through droplets in the air from coughing. RSV usually occurs in the wintertime.

Usually, RSV causes mild symptoms, such as a runny nose and fever. But premature babies or those with lung or heart problems have a higher risk of getting very sick if they catch RSV.

This medicine is given only to children under 2 years old at high risk for serious complications if they should get RSV. These children include:

  • some premature infants who were born early by 5 weeks or more
  • children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a lung disease that causes babies to need extra oxygen because the lungs do not work properly
  • children with other conditions that put them in a high-risk group.

This medicine is not a treatment for children who already have RSV. Synagis is given by injection into the leg muscle. Synagis may be given with other routine immunizations. Multiple doses may be needed to fully protect the infant.

How does it work?

Synagis is an antibody that is used to prevent infection. Full-term babies get virus-fighting substances called antibodies from their mothers during pregnancy. These antibodies help to fight RSV and other viruses. But babies born prematurely often do not get enough of these antibodies before birth.

What else do I need to know about this medicine?

Ask your healthcare provider about Synagis.

Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-08-08
Last reviewed: 2010-10-13 This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. References
Pediatric Advisor 2011.4 Index
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