What is RSV?

RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus, a major cause of respiratory illness in children of all ages. It is so common that most children have had RSV by the time they are two years old. For most children, exposure to RSV leads to nothing more than a cold and does not require special treatment. For other children, particularly premature babies, babies born with chronic lung disease and babies with certain heart conditions, exposure to RSV can lead to more serious health problems, such as pneumonia.

The respiratory syncytial virus is present for about six months of the year, fall through spring. It is spread easily by sneezing, coughing, kissing, and touching surfaces with the RSV on them. Prevention is important for babies who are at higher risk of a serious RSV infection, and may include a medicine called palivizumab injected on a monthly basis during the RSV season.


During the RSV season of fall through spring, frequent hand washing is the single most important way to prevent the spread of this virus. It is also a good idea to keep anyone who seems to have a cold away from your baby.

For babies at high risk of severe RSV infections — those with a weakened immune system — doctors may prescribe a medicine called palivizumab to prevent your baby from getting RSV. Palivizumab is called a monoclonal antibody and it gives the immune system in high-risk babies the ability to fight RSV infections. This preventive therapy is given by injection into your baby's thigh muscle each month, starting a month before the RSV season in your part of the country begins and continuing each month throughout the season. The medicine is only effective for 28 to 30 days, so injections must be given every month in order to be effective.

Our Specialty Pharmacy Services

CVS Specialty understands that children needing RSV prevention have special needs. We'll make sure you get your prescribed palivizumab from us, along with the medically necessary supplies your doctor needs to safely and correctly administer your child's treatment.

CVS Specialty has more than 30 years experience with injectable and infused medicines, working closely with each doctor, clinician and patient to make sure medicines are administered as effectively as possible.

With CVS Specialty, you'll have a team of experts on your side, helping you get the most professional, caring and cost-effective service. If you would like to find out more about our services, please call us toll-free at 1-800-237-2767.

Last Modified Date: April 6, 2015 © CVS Specialty. All rights reserved. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.