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Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

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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

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What Are Demyelinating Disorders?

Most of the nerves in your body are covered with a protective layer called myelin. It’s a lot like the insulation on electric wires. It helps messages from your brain move quickly and smoothly through your body, like electricity flows from a power source. Demyelinating disorders damage myelin. When this happens, scar tissue forms in its place. Brain signals can’t move across scar tissue as quickly, so your nerves don’t work as well as they should. As a result, you might have trouble talking,...

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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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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Multiple Sclerosis: Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) Topics

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