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Myasthenia Gravis

MG and beta blockers

03/20/2009

Question:

Is it possible that beta blockers can prevent Mestinon from working properly? I`ve noticed more weakness, happening gradually over a period of a year, since taking beta blockers for heart disease. The Medic Alert agency has recommended to NOT take beta blockers for anyone with MG. Please respond. Thank you.

Answer:

We always have to weigh risk vs. benefits with any medication. Beta blockers are valuable drugs for many patients with heart disease. They often cause non-specific exercise intolerance or fatigue that is distinct from that caused by MG. It will be important for your cardiologist and neurologist to analyze your symptoms and exam findings and determine the benefits of the drug and the likelihood that your symptoms are due to MG or are non-specific. I do not restrict the use of valuable drugs in MG patients without weighing risk/benefits. I did not find adverse interactions between mestinon and beta blockers. Thanks for your question.

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Response by:

John G Quinlan, MD John G Quinlan, MD
Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati