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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Mar;44(3):386-9. Epub 2004 Nov 30.

Mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept): an alternative therapy for autoimmune inflammatory myopathy.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.

Erratum in

  • Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Apr;44(4):569.



Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is a new immunosuppressive agent currently being used for the prevention of renal allograft rejection. MMF is a specific inhibitor of lymphocytes and is well tolerated leading to its use in other autoimmune diseases. We have used MMF for the treatment of seven patients with inflammatory myopathy and are hereby reporting our results.


All of our patients were females (age 17-65 yr). They were symptomatic upon presentation and met classification criteria for idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. Inflammatory markers such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein as well as creatine kinase were significantly elevated in all the patients, indicating active disease. Corticosteroids were concomitantly being administered (20-60 mg/day of prednisone). Initial therapy with conventional immunosuppressives was either ineffective or had significant adverse effects leading to their discontinuation. MMF was started in doses of 500 mg twice a day and titrated up to 1 g twice a day.


Our patients have exhibited an impressive serological response to therapy with MMF and six patients had a marked improvement in their weakness. One patient had incomplete improvement in her weakness and has required additional therapies. MMF has been well tolerated during the treatment period (12-36 months).


A striking clinical and laboratory response of active myositis in six out of seven patients in this series illustrates that MMF can be effectively used in management of autoimmune inflammatory myopathy and may be a suitable alternative to the conventional immunosuppressive agents.

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