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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2010 Nov;112(9):781-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.06.018. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Benefits from sustained-release pyridostigmine bromide in myasthenia gravis: results of a prospective multicenter open-label trial.

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Department of Neurology, Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care, General Hospital, Grosse Parower St, 18435 Stralsund, Germany.



For more than 50 years the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor pyridostigmine bromide has been the drug of choice in the symptomatic therapy for myasthenia gravis. The sustained-release dosage form of pyridostigmine (SR-Pyr) is only available in a limited number of countries (e.g. in the United States and Germany). Astonishingly, the therapeutic usefulness of SR-Pyr has not yet been evaluated.


In this non-interventional prospective open-label trial, 72 patients with stable myasthenia gravis were switched from instant-release dosage forms of pyridostigmine bromide to SR-Pyr. The results from the 37 patients younger than 60 years were separately analyzed.


The initial daily dose of SR-Pyr was 288.1 ± 171.0mg. The drug switch was unproblematic in all patients. The number of daily doses was significantly reduced from 4.3 to 3.6 (p=0.011). The switch to SR-Pyr ameliorated the total quantified myasthenia gravis (QMG) score from 0.9 ± 0.5 to 0.6 ± 0.4 (p<0.001) in all patients and in the younger subgroup. This was accompanied by a significant improvement in the quality of life parameters. The health status valued by EuroQoL questionnaire improved from 0.626 ± 0.286 to 0.782 ± 0.186 (p<0.001). After switching to SR-Pyr, 28 adverse reactions disappeared and 24 adverse reactions occurred less frequent or weaker, however, 17 new adverse reactions were documented.


Our results support the usefulness of SR-Pyr in an individualized therapeutic regimen to improve quality of life regardless of the patient's age in myasthenia gravis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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