What are Treatment Options for Myasthenia Gravis?
MG treatment also includes self-care: getting plenty of sleep, resting your eyes, pacing your activity, eating healthy foods, exercising, and managing your stress.
Listen when your body says “that’s too much.” And cut yourself some slack. Recognizing your body’s signals can take some trial and error.
There are two types of medications used to treat MG. One group—anticholinesterases—temporarily relieves the symptoms of MG. Another group—immunosuppressants—attacks the disease at its source. By suppressing the body’s immune system, these drugs stop the body from damaging the neuromuscular junction in the first place. Immunosuppressant treatments can have serious side effects.
Doctors may prescribe one or a combination of these medications. It often takes time to determine the best medication and dosage for an individual patient.
This is typically the first type of medication prescribed because it is has the fewest long-term side effects. It also is the most rapid-acting medication available. These drugs prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—the chemical messenger that causes a muscle contraction. More acetylcholine generally results in greater muscle strength. Although anticholinesterase medication does not directly counteract the abnormal immune system attack in MG, they may partially or completely control MG symptoms in some patients.