Synagis

Synagis is a medicine used in children who are exposed to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which can cause serious respiratory tract illness. It cannot prevent the RSV infection, but it can keep the infection from becoming severe enough to cause serious problems. This prescription drug comes as an injection that is given once a month. Fever, ear infections, and a stuffy nose are potential side effects.

What Is Synagis?

Synagis® (palivizumab) is a prescription medication approved to prevent serious respiratory tract illness caused by a virus known as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It is only for use in children who are at high risk for complications from an RSV infection. Synagis belongs to a group of medicines known as monoclonal antibodies.
 
(Click Synagis Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

Synagis is manufactured by MedImmune, LLC.
 

How Does Synagis Work?

Synagis is a monoclonal antibody. Antibodies are proteins normally produced by the immune system that bind to harmful substances in the body, such as viruses and bacteria, and help the body fight them. Monoclonal antibodies are made in a laboratory. Synagis works by binding to RSV, which prevents the virus from reproducing.
 
Synagis is not a vaccine, and it does not prevent an RSV infection. Instead, it prevents an infection from becoming severe enough to cause serious problems. Each dose works against RSV for 28 to 30 days. Therefore, a shot is needed each month protection against RSV is needed.
 

Clinical Effects

In clinical studies, Synagis was shown to reduce the need for hospitalization in infants at risk for serious illness after an RSV infection. In these studies, up to 5.8 percent of infants who received Synagis were hospitalized for an RSV infection. In comparison, 10.6 percent of infants given a placebo injection (an injection that did not contain any active ingredients) were hospitalized for an RSV infection.
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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