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Thursday, December 5, 2013
Patients may continue to feel weak despite medications. The goal of treatment is to improve strength, but this may take time. Medications like Cellcept, cyclosporine or Imuran may take months to work. Mestinon often does not return strength to normal. You may need to discuss whether there has been adequate time for treatments to improve your strength or whether other medications need to be used with your neurologist.
There are several reasons this could occur.
The best treatments for severe symptoms are plasmapheresis, steroids in high doses, and IVIG. The initial response can be slow (taking months). Most patients with MG do eventually respond. Also, other medications like Cellcept, azathioprine (Imuran), and cyclosporine often need to be started. These take months to work but eventually allow patients to be treated with lower doses of prednisone.
This information can be found through the National Institutes of Health at http://clinicaltrials.gov/.
Every time a physician uses a drug, benefits and risks have to be weighed. I look at each case individually and each choice of medication in this way.
For more information on thymectomy, click here.
For more information on alternative treatments for myasthenia gravis, click here.
Last Reviewed: Dec 29, 2003
Henry J Kaminski, MD
Formerly, Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University