More research needed on immunosuppressant treatment for myositis

More investigation into the efficiency of immunosuppressant and immunomodulatory agents in dermatomyositis and polymyositis is needed according to the Neuromuscular Disease Group of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.*

Immunosuppressants suppress the immune system and  immunomodulatory therapies modify it to alter symptoms of disease. These treatments are used commonly in clinical practice with corticosteroids or when corticosteroids do not work or are not tolerated.

"The small number of randomised trials are inadequate to decide whether these agents are beneficial in dermatomyositis and polymyositis. One small trial of intravenous immunoglobulin in dermatomyositis suggests that it is beneficial. More randomised controlled trials are needed."  This is a Cochrane* review plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, Copyright © 2011.  Full text available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).

* What is Cochrane - a systematic review of randomised controlled trials - using evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCT's) is "likely to provide much more reliable information than other sources of evidence."

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