Myasthenia gravis is a disorder of the voluntary muscles in which the voluntary muscles get weakened and quickly exhausted. This happens as there is a loss of communication between muscles and nerves. Myasthenia gravis is an incurable disorder. However, symptoms can be managed with proper treatment.

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Can You Take Magnesium With Myasthenia Gravis?

Can You Take Magnesium With Myasthenia Gravis?

Magnesium sulphate is contraindicated in myasthenia gravis. This is because magnesium sulphate exerts an inhibitory effect on acetylcholine release. Acetylcholine is a chemical responsible for transmitting signals from the nerve endings to the muscle receptors. If this function is inhibited, it may worsen myasthenia gravis. Magnesium sulphate inhibits this function. Hence, it is contraindicated in myasthenia gravis.

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Other medicines contraindicated in myasthenia gravis that are known to cause exacerbations of myasthenia gravis are-

Certain Antibiotics- Like fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, chloroquine etc.

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Antidysrhythmic Drugs- Like calcium channel blockers, beta blockers, lidocaine, quinidine, trimethaphan, procainamide etc.

Antipsychotic Drugs- Like sulpride, phenothiazines, atypicals etc.

Cardiovascular Drugs- Like quinidine, verapamil, propranolol, statins, bretylium etc. (1) (3)

Other Drugs- Like lithium, chlorpromazine, muscle relaxants, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, diphenylhydantoin etc.

Treatment Of Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia gravis cannot be cured. However, with a prompt and an efficient treatment, the symptoms can be alleviated, and the condition can be managed. The treatment options can be used singularly or in combination as per the need of the person. Medications may include-

Cholinesterase Inhibitors-

  • These medicines can help in improving the communication between muscles and nerves
  • These medicines may improve muscle strength and muscle contractions
  • However, these medicines cannot cure the problem completely

Corticosteroids-

  • These medicines inhibit your immune system and limits the antibody protection
  • However, these medicines can prove to be potentially hazardous when used for prolonged periods. They may lead to thinning of bones, diabetes and infections

Immunosuppressants-

  • These medicines change the immune system
  • However, these medicines can also prove to be dangerous when consumed for prolonged duration
  • They may also cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, headaches, digestive upset etc.
  • Prolonged exposure may lead to kidney and liver damage. (1)

Other Therapies To Treat Myasthenia Gravis

Intravenous Therapies-

Plasmapheresis-

  • This is a filtering procedure which is quite similar to the procedure of dialysis
  • The blood is sent through a machine that gets rid of eth unwanted antibodies
  • However, the effects of this procedure last only short term
  • Also, there are other potential risks associated with this procedure. These include bleeding, lowered blood pressure, arrythmias etc.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin-

  • In this method, your body is provided with normal antibodies, which then changes the response of your immune system
  • This method has comparatively lesser side effects than other methods. However, it takes some time for this treatment to start showing the results
  • Mild side effects are seen, which can be cured easily

Monoclonal Antibody-

  • In this method, an intravenous medication is used to deplete certain white blood cells
  • This also causes changes in the immune system and thus improves myasthenia gravis

Surgery-

  • Those having a tumor in their thymus gland, also known as a thymoma, may benefit from the removal of the thymoma
  • Those who do not have a tumor may benefit from the removal of the thymus gland
  • The symptoms may be gone completely, and the medications can be stopped. However, it talks years for the thymectomy to show desired results

The treatment method or methods are decided considering several factors like the age of the person, the gravity of the condition, the site of the muscles that are affected and also other medical conditions if any. Your doctor is the best person to guide you through a proper course of treatment. (1)

Magnesium is contraindicated in myasthenia gravis. This is because magnesium sulphate exerts an inhibitory effect on acetylcholine release. If this chemical is broken, there is a loss of communication between muscles and nerves, resulting in myasthenia gravis. Magnesium can cause exacerbations in myasthenia gravis. Hence, it is not to be taken in this condition.

References-

  1. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-the-treatment-of-myasthenia-gravis
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myasthenia-gravis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352040
  3. https://www.myastheniagravis.org/about-mg/what-makes-mg-worse/

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: May 15, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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