Treatments for Dermatomyositis (DM) and Polymyositis (PM)

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Biological Agents
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

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.

Combination Therapies

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 [2008];35:438-44.


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.

The efficacy of tacrolimus in patients with refractory dermatomyositis/polymyositis (DM/PM): a systematic review. Current evidence appears to support the use of tacrolimus in refractory PM/DM and PM/DM-ILD patients and it seems to be a safe drug that improves both muscle strength and lung function, and is well tolerated by patients. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 09/02/2015.

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

Giving Assistant
United Way of Central New Mexico
United Way of Snohomish County
See ISN News for recent donors, including Pam Hop, Margaret Roof, Winifred Schillberg, Arnold Slotkin, and Juliet Youkhana. Plus donations in honor of Kim Thwaits, and in loving memory of Marta Marx, Jim Miller, and Arlene Marie Petulla.
Click Here to Donate or Shop
or click on the floating green DONATE button.


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 leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. 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, or to report bad links or to update this page content. Privacy Policy.

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

Donate Now
Copyright 1998-2018, International Scleroderma Network. AKA Scleroderma from A to Z and SCLERO.ORG. All Rights Reserved.