Drugs to avoidDrugs to avoid

Drugs to Avoid or Use With Caution

While there are various treatments and therapies specifically designed to improve symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis and help stabilise the condition, many over-the-counter medications may worsen your symptoms and should be used with caution. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medications, and remember to inform them about any changes to your symptoms.

Where healthcare professionals recognise that some drugs may be required to aid a patient’s treatment and should not be off-limits, it is advisable to talk to your doctor. They can advise you of the possibility that a particular type of medication may worsen your MG symptoms.

The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America lists some of the prescription medications known to worsen MG symptoms - talk to your healthcare provider before using these medications:

  • Antibiotics:

    • Aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikazin, gentamycin, kanamycin, neomycin, streptomycin, and tobramycin – these can cause neuromuscular weakness. Often prescribed for gram-negative bacterial infections
    • Macrolide antibiotics – often prescribed for gram-positive bacterial infections
    • Telithromycin antibiotics – prescribed for contracted pneumonia
    • Fluoroquinolones – a commonly prescribed group of antibiotics that includes moxifloxacin and ciprofloxacin

  • Antiarrhythmics:

    • Beta-blockers – usually prescribed for hypertension, migraines, or heart disease
    • Procainamide – prescribed for heart rhythm irregularities

  • Botulinum toxin

  • Chloroquine and Hydrochloroquine:

    • Chloroquine (or Aralen) - prescribed for Malarial infections and Amoeba
    • Hydrochloroquine (or Plaquenil) - prescribed for Lupus, Malaria, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Corticosteroids – a typical treatment for MG, but must be carefully monitored

  • Deferoxamine – the agent used for hemochromatosis

  • D-penicillamine – prescribed for Wilson disease (and rarely for Rheumatoid Arthritis)

  • Iodinated radiologic – contrasting agent

  • Magnesium (intravenously) – a consideration for hypomagnesemia or eclampsia during late pregnancy

  • Statins– prescribed to reduce serum cholesterol

If you are concerned about anything you have read in this article, please seek advice from your healthcare provider.