Question on IVIG
October 17, 2013 at 1:54 am
How many times can someone receive IVIG? I’ve read on some post here that they are taking it multiple times. Some even months after they were given the first dose. My doctor only administer one round (5 doses) of IVIG during my hospitalization. That was 5 months ago. Can I receive more treatment?
October 17, 2013 at 2:27 am
IvIg is often used as a maintenance treatment for CIDP, which is (usually) a chronic disorder. Because GBS does not have the relapsing pattern of CIDP, maintenance doses are not indicated. However, read this article for a discussion of additional treatment sometimes being helpful.
October 17, 2013 at 3:27 am
GH cited an excellent article that I hope you were able to read, I did.
There is another, much rarer, form of GBS called Recurrent-GBS (RGBS): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18931012
RGBS was discussed at a GBS-CIDP Foundation meeting I attended last Saturday in LA. RGBS can require additional IVIG to lessen the severity of attack and to help the patient return to normal activities as soon as possible.
Insurance companies can often be reluctant to see IVIG as a ‘clinical necessity’ because of its high cost factor. Getting IVIG in a hospital setting is probably the most expensive. Getting it in an outpatient clinic or through home healthcare are lower cost alternatives.
I was given IVIG in the hospital as my first line of defense. It didn’t work well for me and I was then given Plasmapheresis, which worked very well for me. About 2 years later my neuro recommended another round of IVIG at home through a home healthcare provider. I stopped it after a couple months because it was having only negative affects for me.
If you go the home healthcare route, make sure the agency is listed as a ‘contracted provider’ by your insurance and confirm the agency will take your insurance as payment in full.
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