Approved Treatments for Myasthenia Gravis
Soliris (eculizumab) is a monoclonal antibody therapy, which target specific components of the immune system and suppress them. Given as an infusion into the vein, it is approved to treat generalized myasthenia gravis patients who are anti-acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody positive.
Mestinon (pyridostigmine) is an anticholinesterase medication approved to treat MG. The therapy is designed to improve the transmission of signals to muscles by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Corticosteroids such as prednisone suppress the immune system by reducing the production of antibodies, or proteins that attack or block a specific invader or other target. This results in less damage to receptors at nerve-muscle junctions, easing the symptoms of MG.
Immunosuppressants also may be used treat MG. These therapies either inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system when it tries to fight the receptors required to transmit nerve signals to muscles.
Thymectomy is one of the main treatment methods for myasthenia gravis. It is a surgical procedure where the thymus gland is removed to stop the production of autoantibodies that mistakenly attack the muscle-nerve connections in myasthenia gravis patients.
Other strategies that can be used to treat MG patients include intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion and plasmapheresis. Both procedures are designed to combat the presence of autoantibodies in the blood to ease disease symptoms.