IVIG vs Plasmapheresis

IVIG this IVIG that , side effects this, side effects that, what about any side effects from Plasmapheresis ? Are there any ? after all you are removing things from the system in stead of flooding the system with foreign material .

Has anyone here gone through Plasmapheresis ? Please tell how it went and what side effects you may have encountered. Thanks

The major side effect could be contracting infection. That is the major concern with PE.

I tried plasma paresis last fall and I was getting IVIH too. The first sets of treatments (5 over a 10 day span) seemed to really help a lot. The second set of treatments (5 over a 10 day span) were not as effective. I had to have a port surgically put in each time. If I would of continued the treatment they would of given me a more permanent type of port. I have been doing much better since I started IVIG therapy of 2g/Kg of weight. One thing I have learned from listening to other people in this support group is that often, different people respond different treatments.

I have never had Plasmapheresis - in fact it was not recommended for me. Appears that it is only recommended if IVIG does not work AND the haematology results indicate Plasmapheresis might be useful.
I think the general impression is that Plasmapheresis is very complicated and invasive compared to IVIG.

Plasmapheresis is about physically altering your blood and the system that does that could cause problems (people mention infections). IVIG is generally regarded as quite safe with very few people suffering adverse events of any significance. Most will however tell you about minor problems with short term problems of no great consequence.

Reading between the lines of comments on this site I think most people with more serious IVIG problems are also dealing with additional (often unrelated) problems. Of all the peripheral neuropathy treatments IVIG appears to be the least invasive and safest on offer.

There can be side effects from plasmapheresis. It can cause a serious decrease in Calcium which can be life threatening. They ask for your help by adding Calcium to your diet but sometimes you have to be given it through your IV. Vein puncture is another. Most would have a permanent port put in. I found it to be not as effective as IVIG. It is time consuming too.

I have had many IVIG treatments, and no side effects at all, but I know that some people do have side effects.

I had plasmapheresis one time. It helped, but not as much as the IVIG, and did not last as long. There were no side effects that I was aware of. But, to have the procedure, I had a port surgically implanted in my jugular, and it stayed there for 5 days, so there is significant risk of infection.

I’ve had over 30 plasmapheresis treatments. I do receive calcium in conjecture with my treatment. I tried IVIG and it didn’t work at all for me. I haven’t noticed and side effects. I do have a ‘permanent’ port by my collar bone.

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Plasmapheresis worked great for me. IVIG had zero effect on the CIDP. It was advancing rapidly so that I was entirely paralyzed from the neck down. There was so little muscle left that when they tried to do the plasma exchange through my arm veins, they just collapsed, so they put the big jugular port in next to the collarbone. Only side effect was getting sleepy. Had seven treatments, every other day, then started with 1000mg of steroids by IV.

Three years later, down to 15mg of prednisone/day, and 2000mg of Mycophenolaye (cellcept). Have not needed PE again.