WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Myasthenia gravis, or MG, is a long-term disease that causes severe muscle weakness. It happens when your nerve endings fail to interact properly with your muscles. MG usually affects muscles of the eyes, face, neck, arms, and legs. MG is most common in young women 20 to 30 years of age, and in men 60 to 70 years of age.
- Anticholinesterase medicine: This medicine helps improve energy and strength.
- Immunosuppressives: Steroid medicine or other immunosuppressive medicine may be given to slow down your immune system and slow the progression of MG.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Prevent colds or the flu:
Stay away from people who have colds or the flu. Ask if you should get immunizations to prevent the flu and pneumonia. Try to avoid large groups of people to lower your exposure to germs.
A 4 prong cane or a walker may help you feel safer when you walk. Remove rugs and loose carpeting from the floor to help prevent falls. Chairs with side arms and hard cushions may make it easier to get up or out of a chair. Put grab bars on the walls beside toilets and inside showers and bathtubs. These will help you get up after using the toilet or after bathing. You may want to put a shower chair inside the shower.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or neurologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You have diarrhea.
- You have more weakness than usual.
- You are having problems swallowing.
- You are depressed and feel that you cannot cope with your illness.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have severe breathing problems.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.