What is Myasthenia Gravis?
Myasthenia gravis is a condition causing weakness and rapid fatigue of muscles you are typically able to control. Breakdowns and abnormalities in the usual communication between nerves and muscles cause myasthenia gravis and its symptoms.
How is Myasthenia Gravis Diagnosed and Treated?
Myasthenia gravis can often to be difficult to diagnose and you may need to complete several tests before receiving a diagnosis.
The primary test used is a blood test to determine the levels of an antibody that stops signals between nerves and muscles present in the bloodstream. Nerve test can also be used to examine if signals between nerves and muscles are being disrupted. These nerve tests are called electromyography and involve inserting small needles into the muscles to measure electrical activity, or signaling between nerves and muscles.
There is often an association between enlarged thymus glands in the chest and myasthenia gravis, so healthcare providers may also conduct a CT or MRI scan of the chest.
There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but treatments can be used to prevent escalation or lessen symptoms. Treatment plans may differ depending on your age, condition severity, and speed of progression.
Some common treatments include medications that enhance signaling or inhibit the immune system, surgery, or IV therapies.
How Does IV Infusion Therapy for Myasthenia Gravis Work?
IV infusion for myasthenia gravis involves administering medication through an infusion pump that drips the medication into a catheter to a syringe and through a hollow needle into the patient’s bloodstream. Dosage and frequency of infusion will depend on the therapy and the patient.
Myasthenia Gravis Therapies Administered at IX Health
The following infusion and injection therapies are administered at IVX Health.
Myasthenia Gravis Management at IVX Health
Each IVX Health patient receives excellent care from Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) and Registered Nurses (RNs).
The benefits of receiving infusion treatments for myasthenia gravis at IVX Health include:
- Private suites
- Comfortable, leather recliners
- Enough room and plenty of seating for guests
- A friendly clinical staff
- Personalized service
- High-speed internet
- Complimentary beverages and snacks
- Flat-screen television sets provide a way for patients to stream their favorite movies and watch the shows they love
- Flexible scheduling options (including evening and weekend appointments)
What to Expect During Infusion Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis
Using a thin, very small catheter, one of IVX Health’s nurses creates an intravenous line (aka IV line) into the patient’s arm vein.
After placing the IV line, the nurse connects it to tubing that leads up to the medication. The medication is then dispersed into the patient’s bloodstream over a specified period of time.
During treatment, patients are continuously monitored by one of IVX’s nurses. If a patient requires assistance, he or she just needs to press the call button.
There are times when a patient experiences a reaction to the medication he or she is receiving; therefore, patients need to recognize the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
Signs of a potential allergic reaction include developing a headache, feeling nauseous, difficulty breathing and developing a rash. Patients experiencing these symptoms need to contact their nurse right away.
How to Get a Referral for Myasthenia Gravis IV Infusion Treatment
Every referral must be accompanied by an order for treatment.
Patient information should include:
- Current address
- Home and mobile phone number
- Insurance information
Information the physician must include on the patient’s order for IV therapy to treat myasthenia gravis include:
- Patient’s name and DOB
- Order date
- Physician’s name and NPI#
- Office address, phone, and fax numbers
- Provider’s signature
Supporting clinical documentation from the physician should include:
- Patient has been immunized with meningococcal vaccines at least 2 weeks prior to administering the first dose of Soliris
- Clinicals to support one or more of the following:
- Patient has Paraxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH)
- Patient has atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS)
- Patient has anti-AChR+ generalized Myasthenia Gravis (gMG)
- Patient has anti-AQP4 Antibody-Positive Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD)
- Supporting clinicals that show the patient is AChR antibody positive
Due to the complexity of treatment, prior authorization is often required. Prior authorization is the process of getting approval for treatment from the patient’s healthcare provider before beginning treatment. It’s important to check in with your healthcare provider to see if a prior authorization will be needed for your infusion or injection treatment at IVX Health.
If you have myasthenia gravis, and you would like to learn more about the IV infusion therapy for myasthenia gravis available at IVX Health centers, contact us today.