Simplifying Therapy for LEMSDiplomat Specialty Infusion Group supports patients with personalized care.
Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome — sometimes called just Lambert-Eaton syndrome — is an autoimmune condition, which means that the body’s immune system is attacking healthy cells. In people who have LEMS, the immune system targets the connection between nerves and muscles, keeping nerve cells from sending signals to muscle cells.
People who have LEMS can have muscle weakness, tingling, and fatigue. They can struggle to get through daily activities. They might have trouble climbing stairs, walking, or even swallowing.
About half of LEMS cases are associated with small-cell lung cancer, which can be caused by long-term smoking. The cause of the other half of LEMS cases isn’t clear, although a patient’s genes might play a role.
LEMS is very rare. At any given time, there are only a few hundred cases in the U.S.
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What are the symptoms of LEMS?
Most often, people who have LEMS notice muscle stiffness or weakness in their legs and hips. They sometimes have stiffness or weakness in their arms and shoulders, too. This can make it hard to walk, climb stairs, get out of chairs, or lift things.
Other symptoms can include:
- Muscle weakness in the eyes, eyelids, and face
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, and breathing
- Dry mouth
- Erectile dysfunction
How does Diplomat help people with LEMS?
When people have LEMS and cancer, treating the cancer usually causes the LEMS to go away. For more information about Diplomat’s services for people who have cancer, visit our Oncology page.
When people have LEMS without cancer, there are several treatment options. These include drugs that suppress the immune system, plasmapheresis (filtering the blood to remove antibodies), and intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy.
Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group dispenses IVIG therapy for people who have LEMS. IVIG therapy puts new antibodies into their body to help get rid of the ones that are attacking their nerves. This treatment is often given with drugs that suppress the immune system to help it work.
If you have LEMS without cancer, you will likely still have some symptoms after treatment, but a good overall quality of life.
Diplomat also helps our patients find third-party financial assistance and learn about their condition. We coordinate with patients’ care teams to make their treatment as smooth as possible.
Remember: The information here — and on linked sites — is not meant to replace advice, care, or a diagnosis from your physician. If you have questions about your condition, please ask your provider.
The information contained herein may not be construed as medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. takes no responsibility for the accuracy or validity of the information contained herein, nor the claims or statements of any manufacturer.
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