Why is it prescribed?

Palivizumab is used for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract disease caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and children at high risk of RSV disease.

Products that have this ingredient include •Synagis® •

See other drugs used in the treatment of •respiratory tract infections •

Most common:

  • fever and rash.


  • nervousness
  • redness or swelling at the injection site 
  • A pause in breathing or other breathing difficulties  

Less common:

  • colds, coughs, runny nose, wheezing
  • vomiting, diarrhea
  • viral infections
  • increase in liver function tests

Severe allergic reactions may occur after any dose of palivizumab. Such reactions may be life threatening or cause death. Signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • Severe rash, hives, or itching skin
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
  • Closing of the throat, difficult swallowing
  • Difficult, rapid, or irregular breathing
  • Bluish colour of skin, lips, or under fingernails
  • Muscle weakness or floppiness
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Unresponsiveness


Palivizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibodies, that is, it contains man-made, disease-fighting proteins called antibodies.
Since children at high risk for severe RSV disease often do not have enough of their own antibodies, palivizumab helps to prevent severe RSV disease by increasing protective RSV antibodies.

  • Do not use if allergic to palivizumab or other human monoclonal antibodies
  • Palivizumab should be given with caution to patients with any bleeding disorders
  • A moderate to severe acute infection or febrile illness may warrant delaying the use of palivizumab.  A mild upper respiratory infection is not usually reason to delay treatment

Drug interactions:

  • none expected

Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015