Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) for Myasthenia Gravis | MGteam

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Intravenous immunoglobulin, also called IVIG, is used to treat infectious diseases and autoimmune conditions including myasthenia gravis. For people with myasthenia gravis, IVIG is often prescribed as a rescue therapy to stabilize the body and allow time for other treatments to start working. It may also be prescribed to strengthen the body before surgery or as a maintenance therapy when other treatments aren’t working well.

IVIG is produced by pooling antibodies from thousands of blood donors. The antibodies are purified and sterilized to prevent transmitting any infection. IVIG is believed to work by changing the production of antibodies in the immune system, although researchers are uncertain exactly how it works to treat myasthenia gravis.

What does it involve?
IVIG is administered via intravenous infusion in a medical setting or with a medical professional in your home. A single treatment usually takes a few hours. The dose and frequency of IVIG treatment will depend on your health and your body weight. Your doctor will advise the best course for you.

Side effects
During or immediately after IVIG, some people experience headache, fatigue, fever, chills, muscle or joint aches, nausea, vomiting, or allergic reactions. Sometimes these side effects can be avoided if the IVIG infusion is given more slowly.

Rare but serious side effects of IVIG can include kidney problems, blood clots, allergic reactions, and rashes. Although antibodies are purified and sterilized before packaging for IVIG, there’s always a very small chance that they may contain an infectious agent.

For more information about this treatment, visit:

Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) — Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America

Patient Education: Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG) (Beyond the Basics) — Wolters Kluwer UpToDate

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