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Multiple Sclerosis: Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)

Topic Overview

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is a medicine often used to boost the body's immune system and make it better able to fight disease. It is made from donated blood fluids.

Treatment with IVIG may improve function and lengthen the time before a relapse in people who have relapsing-remitting MS.1 It does not seem to help slow the progression of MS.2

IVIG can also lengthen the time before a second attack in people who take it after the first attack.1

But IVIG is extremely expensive, not widely available, and not considered practical for long-term treatment of MS. It sometimes may be used to treat a severe relapse if you either cannot take or do not respond to corticosteroids.

The safety of IVIG during pregnancy and breast-feeding is not known. Talk to your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy, if you are pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. Nicholas R, Chataway J (2009). Multiple sclerosis, search date June 2008. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
  2. Goodin DS, et al. (2002, reaffirmed 2008). Disease modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis: Report of the therapeutics and technology assessment subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the MS Council for Clinical Practice Guidelines. Neurology, 58(2): 169–178.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last Revised February 15, 2012

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