Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis

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Treatment of Myasthenia Gravis

Advances in treatment have lead to better prognosis. Proper treatment allows most patients to enjoy better lives. Available treatment modalities include: anticholinesterase medications, immunosuppressive agents, thymectomy, and plasmapheresis and intravenous
immunoglobulin (IVIg). Many patients benefit from Predisone.
  • Anticholinesterase medications: Pyridostigmine is the most widely used drug belonging to this class. Partial improvement occurs in many patients. Complete cure
    may not be possible.
  • Immunosuppressive agents: Majority of patients benefit from the use of drugs that suppress the immune system. Drugs include glucocorticoids, Mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and cyclophosphamide.
  • Thymectomy: This is the surgical removal of thymus gland (already mentioned). Some patients benefit from it.
  • Plasmapheresis (Plasma exchange) can bring short term improvement. Abnormal antibodies are removed from plasma of the blood. Improvement brought about, though striking is transient. Repeated exchanges may be required.
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg): Infusion with immunoglobulin is also used to bring transient improvement.
Myasthenia crisis is said to occur when the patient develops breathing problems. Weakness of respiratory muscles warrants immediate medical attention.

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