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Immunotherapy for Myasthenia Gravis

If symptoms of myasthenia gravis are severe—if you’re unable to open your eyes or move your lips, for example—your doctor may prescribe a protein called immunoglobulin to be administered through a vein with intravenous (IV) infusion. IV immunoglobulin therapy uses helpful antibodies taken from donor plasma to suppress inflammation. Antibodies are proteins in the blood produced by the immune system that detect and fight bacteria and viruses.

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A doctor then administers these donor antibodies into your body through the veins to suppress inflammation. These infusions are given daily for about five days. Most people receive regular maintenance therapy every few weeks over the course of several months to keep the immune system suppressed until symptoms are reduced. IV immunoglobulin therapy can be used along with other treatments or until medications begin working.

Myasthenia gravis is a treatable neuromuscular disorder that sometimes goes into remission, which is when the signs and symptoms of myasthenia gravis have disappeared. Symptoms, however, may return, or flare up, at any time. It is important that you regularly follow up with your physician, so that he or she can monitor you for signs that symptoms may be about to return. If a flare-up occurs, your doctor may treat you with medication or IV immunoglobulin therapy.

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