Treatments for Dermatomyositis (DM) and Polymyositis (PM)

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Biological Agents
CB2 Agonist
Combination Therapies
Stem Cell Transplants


Treatments for polymyositis and dermatomyositis include biological agents, exercise, immunosuppressants, steroids, IVIg, and stem cell transplants. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases, and Dermatomyositis/Polymyositis)

Biological Agents

Rituximab for refractory rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease (RP–ILD) related to anti-MDA5 antibody–positive amyopathic dermatomyositis. Our results suggest that RTX may be a useful therapy for anti-MDA5 Ab-positive ADM associated with RP–ILD, although infection is the major risk. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 04/30/2018. (Also see Biologic Agents)

The Use of Rituximab in the Management of Refractory Dermatomyositis. This is a retrospective study of 25 patients with dermatomyositis who were treated with rituximab. PubMed, J Drugs Dermatol. 2017 Feb 1;16(2):162-166.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CB2) Agonist

Corbus Pharmaceuticals to Commence Phase 3 Study of Lenabasum for the Treatment of Rare Autoimmune Disease Dermatomyositis. Corbus Pharmaceuticals announced today that the Company will proceed with a Phase 3 trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of lenabasum for the treatment of dermatomyositis. Globe Newswire, 07/25/2018. (Also see Endocannabinoid System and Clinical Trials)

Combination Therapies

(Expired Article) Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis Associated with Malignancy: A 21-year Retrospective Study. In patients with tumor-associated myositis, it was more frequently necessary to administer other immunosuppressive drugs along with glucocorticoids. J Rheumatol .


Physical exercise as a treatment for adult and juvenile myositis. These data suggest that intensive aerobic exercise and resistance training could reduce disease activity and inflammation and improve muscle metabolism. PubMed, J Intern Med, 2016 Jul;280(1):75-96.


How is Polymyositis Treated? Initially, polymyositis is treated with high doses of corticosteroids.

Expression of interleukin-18 in muscle tissue of patients with polymyositis or dermatomyositis and effects of conventional immunosuppressive treatment. IL-18 is highly expressed in muscle tissue in the context of inflammatory myopathies and based on its plausible effector functions could provide a novel therapeutic target in future. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 08/08/2018. (Also see Interleukins)

Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg)

Case Report: Intravenous Immune Globulin in Amyopathic Dermatomyositis (ADM) – Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature. We present both cases in describing IVIG as a rescue and maintenance steroid–sparing agent in the treatment of severe refractory ADM. PubMed, Open Rheumatol J.

Successful Treatment With Intravenous High-Dose Immunoglobulin For Cardiomyopathy In Dermatomyositis Complicated With Rapid Progressive Interstitial Pneumonia And Macrophage Activation Syndrome. This is the first report that IVIg may be effective for cardiomyopathy in dermatomyositis. ATS Journal.

Stem Cell Transplants

Stem cell transplantation in myositis. The aim of this clinical trial from 2005-2015 is to test whether it is safe to transplant stem cells from the blood into patients with myositis whose condition has not responded to conventional treatments. Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Go to Diabetes

Many thanks to our recent donors. See ISN News for more donors. Click Here to Donate.


TOLL FREE HOTLINE, U.S. and Canada: 1-800-564-7099
Ask for our Free Info Packet by email or postal mail!

SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses.

We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to:

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702 USA
Email [email protected] to request our Welcome email, report bad links, or update page content. Disclaimer. Privacy Policy.

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is!