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Human Plasma Derived Products

Human Plasma Albumin

Albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood. Its major role is to increase the volume of plasma (the liquid component of blood). Human albumin solutions are often used in critical or emergency procedures, surgery and in the acutely ill patient. It may be used for low blood volume, shock, plasma exchange, and extensive burns.

Human albumin solution is available as an intravenous infusion only and this medication can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription. Discuss with your doctor why it has been prescribed for you and the benefits and risks of this medicine.

Coagulation Factors

Coagulation factors VIII and IX are used to treat the hereditary bleeding disorders of haemophilia A and B.

Haemophilia A is due to a deficiency of Factor VIII, which is essential for normal blood clotting. Levels of this factor below the normal can make some individuals bleed unexpectedly into their joints, muscles or organs. They also bleed excessively during minor surgery and may suffer life threatening bleeding from major surgery, trauma or injury. Replacement of the missing Factor VIII corrects the bleeding problem and allows them to enjoy a normal lifestyle.
Human Factor VIII concentrate contains coagulation Factor VIII derived from human plasma and is available as an intravenous infusion only. This medication can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Discuss with your doctor why it has been prescribed for you and the benefits and risks of this medicine.

Haemophilia B or Christmas Disease is due to a deficiency of Factor IX, which is essential for normal blood clotting. Levels of this factor below the normal can make some individuals bleed unexpectedly into their joints, muscles or organs. They also bleed excessively during minor surgery and may suffer life threatening bleeding from major surgery, trauma or injury. Replacement of the missing Factor IX corrects the bleeding problem and allows them to enjoy a normal lifestyle.
Human factor IX complex contains coagulation Factor IX derived from human plasma and is available as an intravenous infusion only. This medication can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Discuss with your doctor why it has been prescribed for you and the benefits and risks of this medicine.

Fresh Human Plasma

Plasma is the liquid component of blood that contains many important dissolved proteins and substances. These are useful in maintaining blood volume and assisting in blood clotting. It is often used during surgery, trauma and emergency procedures for the replacement of blood volume and clotting factors.

Fresh human plasma is available for intravenous infusion only. Fresh human plasma can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription. Discuss with your doctor why it has been prescribed for you and the benefits and risks of this medicine.

Normal Immunoglobulins

These preparations are made from blood donors who have antibodies to a wide variety of diseases to which they have been exposed. They are used to protect individuals where a lack or low level of antibody may cause frequent infections. Normal immunoglobulin is available as an intramuscular injection or as an intravenous infusion. These preparations can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. Discuss with your doctor why it has been prescribed for you and the benefits and risks of this medicine.

Intramuscular normal immunoglobulin is used for patients who need replacement of some antibodies of the normal immune system to prevent infections. It can also be used to prevent infection by the measles and hepatitis A viruses.

Intravenous normal immunoglobulin is used to prevent infections in patients who are unable to make their own antibodies. This may be due to a genetic disorder, chemotherapy or other disease. Intravenous immunoglobulin is also a relatively new treatment for some auto-immune diseases where the body’s own immune system becomes overactive and causes a disease.

Specific Immunoglobulins
Human Anti-D Immunoglobulin - Haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN) is a disease where the baby’s red blood cells are being destroyed due to antibodies from the mother. This is caused when the baby’s blood is incompatible with the mother’s. If a pregnant woman has Rh(D) negative blood and small amounts of Rh(D) positive blood from her fetus enters the maternal circulation (birth; miscarriage; amniocentesis; stillbirth), the mother produces antibodies against the baby’s red blood cells. This is seldom a problem in the first pregnancy but during subsequent pregnancies, antibody production is rapid and can enter the fetus circulation and cause destruction of the red blood cells. Immunoglobulins to these antibodies can prevent the mother from producing anti-D antibodies by coating the red cells that enter the mother's circulation, and destroying them before they sensitise the mother's immune system.
Human Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin - A virus that attacks the liver and causes inflammation of the liver causes Hepatitis B. Long term infection can lead to liver disease such as cancer and cirrhosis. Symptoms are not always present but individuals infected with the virus can spread it to others. Human hepatitis B immunoglobulin contains antibodies to the hepatitis B virus. It can prevent hepatitis B infection from developing in a person who has been exposed to the hepatitis B virus by contact with blood or other material (for example needle stick injury, sexual exposure) known or suspected to be infected with the virus. It is also given to babies born to mothers with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis B immunoglobulin is normally used in combination with the vaccine. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription.
Human Rabies Immunoglobulin - Rabies is caused by a rhabdovirus often present in the saliva of rabid animals that attacks the central nervous system. Transmission is by inoculation into a wound, usually introduced through the bite of a rabid animal, and rarely by exposure of a mucous membrane or fresh skin abrasion to infected saliva. Treatment is largely symptomatic and includes vigorous supportive treatment. Passive immunisation: Rabies immunoglobulin is indicated for all persons known or suspected to have been exposed to the rabies virus and is used in conjunction with the rabies vaccine (active immunisation administered at the same time, but at a different anatomical site). Rabies immunoglobulin must be given for any mucous membrane exposure to saliva i.e. licks, and all single and multiple bites or scratches inflicted by a suspected rabid animal, especially if associated with any signs of bleeding, irrespective of the interval between exposure and initiation of treatment. Individuals previously immunised with rabies vaccine and whose antibody titre has been recently confirmed as adequate should be treated with vaccine only.
Human Tetanus Immunoglobulin - Tetanus is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. If it gets into the body through a wound, it grows and produces a powerful toxin that affects the nervous system (neurotoxin). Symptoms include muscle stiffness and spasms. The jaw can get locked in position ("lockjaw") and breathing can become a problem. Immunisation against tetanus is carried out in infancy. Tetanus immunoglobulin is used for the prevention of tetanus in a person who has not been recently immunised and who has suffered an injury that could put them at risk of exposure to the tetanus bacteria. It is also used for treatment of clinical tetanus to bind any unbound neurotoxin. Tetanus immunoglobulin can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription.
Human Varicella-zoster Immunoglobulin - Varicella-zoster immunoglobulin is used to prevent chickenpox in those patients who have no immunity to the virus and who are at risk for severe complications of chickenpox. It should be administered as soon as possible, but not more than 96 hours after exposure.Varicella-zoster immunoglobulin is not indicated for adults and children who are immune. Although it may prevent infection in healthy children, it is not indicated, as the ensuing natural infection is usually mild. It is also not indicated for the treatment of clinical varicella (chickenpox) or herpes zoster (shingles), or for the prevention of disseminated zoster.Varicella-zoster immunoglobulin can only be obtained with a doctor's prescription.