Diseases Home > How Is Myasthenia Gravis Managed?

Treatment

Current treatment for myasthenia gravis may include:
 
  • Medications
  • Thymectomy
  • Plasmapheresis or plasma exchange
  • High-dose intravenous immune globulin.
 
(Click Treatment for Myasthenia Gravis for more information about the treatment of this disease.)
 
Medications
Medications used for myasthenia gravis treatment are meant to:
 
  • Improve neuromuscular transmission
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Suppress the production of abnormal antibodies.
 
It is important to note that medications must be used with careful medical follow-up because they may cause major side effects.
 
Thymectomy
A thymectomy is the surgical removal of the thymus gland, which is usually abnormal in patients with myasthenia gravis. A thymectomy may:
 
  • Improve symptoms
  • Cure myasthenia gravis
  • Re-balance the immune system.
 
Plasmapheresis or Plasma Exchange
A plasmapheresis is a procedure in which blood is separated into cells and plasma (liquid). The plasma is removed and replaced with fresh frozen plasma, a blood product called albumin, and/or a plasma substitute. The procedure is often referred to as plasma exchange.
 
High-Dose Intravenous Immune Globulin
In some autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis, one particular type of antibody is produced in large numbers and is attacking the patient's own healthy tissue. In these cases, high-dose immune globulin can be given to suppress the immune system.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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