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Myasthenia Gravis

Muscle pain and spasms with MG

04/04/2008

Question:

I have had MG for about 14 years. Before I was diagnosed I had neck pain and stiffness. This went away when I started on Mestinon. I have been in remission and not taking Mestinon. I started having muscle spasms in my leg and aching. I was also having some weakness. I took the Mestinon and it helped for the pain. Is it common for people to have this pain? In the past the doctor thought I might have fibromyalgia, but it is not that often that I get it so I thought it is more likely related to the MG.

Answer:

Pain is not one of the hallmarks of myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a disease of painless weakness caused by disconnect between the nerve and the muscle. It could cause some pain if joint movement is limited and there is pain over a joint, but this implies significant chronic weakness. Muscle spasms can happen in myasthenia, but are more likely to happen due to another cause (thyroid disease, low vitamin D, low calcium, etc). I would not expect mestinon to make pain better, especially quickly.

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Response by:

Robert W Neel, IV, MD Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati