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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"


Are you sure you want to close your conversation?

Your conversation will not be visible the next time you visit the Arthritis Virtual Assistant. If you want to keep a copy of the advice you've been given, you can print it using the button at the top of the chat window.

How would you rate your experience so far?


Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant is being developed into a brand new type of tool which will help you to get the answers you need for your type of arthritis.

This automated chat service is designed to provide general information about your condition and ways you can manage it. It’s been developed from over 80 years of our research work and also learns from the experiences of its users. It’s a ‘beta’ version which means it’s still learning from you, and others. It uses artificial intelligence to decide which are the best responses to give you and it will improve each time it’s used. The better the information we can provide then the more people we can help to manage their condition too.

The advice in this service isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice so we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor about your treatment. When you use the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, you’ll be asked for your first name and the type of arthritis you have, there’s no need to tell us anything more personal than that.

By using the Arthritis Virtual Assistant you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
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> > > > What are the possible side-effects of IVIg?

What are the possible side-effects of IVIg?

All donors of the blood from which IVIg is made are carefully screened for serious diseases that could be passed on to you. However, it's impossible to completely eliminate the risk of passing on infection. 

People having IVIg may occasionally experience a reaction during or after the infusion. The symptoms of this include a chill or a fever, headache, stomach pain, nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting, joint pain (particularly low back pain) or tiredness.

If these symptoms happen during the infusion, it will be slowed down or stopped as necessary and the symptoms usually settle quickly.

If possible, you’ll be given the same brand of IVIg (e.g. Flebogamma or Octagam) each time. This is to reduce the likelihood of an infusion reaction. However, sometimes difficulties with supply of IVIg mean that another brand has to be used.

In rare cases, people having IVIg may experience:

  • a rash
  • abnormalities in liver function (detected by blood tests)
  • acute kidney failure
  • inflammation of the brain (aseptic meningitis)
  • a type of anaemia called haemolytic anaemia, which will improve over time.

All these rare side-effects can be treated.

Very rarely, people may experience a severe allergic reaction to this drug treatment. The symptoms can include chest tightness, breathing difficulties, a rash, swelling of the face or tongue, and a drop in blood pressure. If this happens, urgent medical attention is needed. If the reaction is severe, then your treatment can’t be continued.

Very occasionally, IVIg can cause a rise in blood pressure, and very rarely, it can cause increased clotting of the blood leading to an increased risk of problems such as heart attack, stroke, and blood clots in the lung (pulmonary embolism) or legs (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT).

A nurse will monitor you during the infusion but please report any new symptoms during or after the infusion. These reactions occur only in a minority of patients.

If you have any concerns about your treatment or its side-effects you should discuss these with your doctor, rheumatology nurse or pharmacist. 


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.