The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new drug for people who have been exposed to measles and hepatitis A viruses. This could be especially good news for older adults who are more likely to suffer from weakened immune systems and thus have more difficulty fighting off infections.

Grifols, a global health care producer of plasma, diagnostic and pharmaceutical products with corporate headquarters in Sant Cugat del Valles, Barcelonathe and industrial facilities all over the world, discovered the treatment. The company said in a news release that their formulation, GamaSTAN®, is the only immune globulin product available in the United States to protect against hepatitis A virus (HAV) and measles after exposure.

“Vaccination, while a valuable option for hepatitis A and measles post-exposure prophylaxis, may take several weeks to take effect as your immune system works to build the antibodies it needs to fight these viruses,” said Stephen Scholand, M.D., infectious disease specialist at MidState Medical Center, said in a statement. “Immune globulins such as GamaSTAN® have been a valuable treatment option for many decades because they offer immediate and rapid protection with antibodies that fight infection.”

The CDC recommends an immune globulin for HAV post-exposure treatment for people over 40, the company said. “The CDC also recommends that immune globulin should be used for children aged less than 12 months, immunocompromised persons, persons with chronic liver disease and persons who are allergic to the vaccine or a vaccine component. When administered within 2 weeks after exposure to HAV, immune globulin is 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing hepatitis A infection.”

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), immune globulin treats immune system problems and helps prevent infections or lessens their severity. It contains antibodies that strengthen the immune system. Immune globulin injection belongs to a group of medicines known as immunizing agents. It can also treat disorders that involve the muscle and nervous systems.

Read the full story here.