Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Neurol. 2019 Dec 21;19(1):335. doi: 10.1186/s12883-019-1573-2.

Understanding side effects of therapy for myasthenia gravis and their impact on daily life.

Author information

Patient-Centered Research, Evidera, 1417 Fourth Avenue Suite 510, Seattle, WA, 98101, USA.
Patient-Centered Research, Evidera, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Patient-Focused Outcomes Center of Expertise, Eli Lilly, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Global Health Outcomes Research, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc, New Haven, CT, USA.
Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA, USA.



Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular junction disorder characterized by skeletal muscle weakness. Current therapies for myasthenia gravis are associated with significant side effects. The objective of this study was to characterize the side effects, and associated health-related quality of life and treatment impacts, of traditional myasthenia gravis treatments.


This study had two phases; a Phase 1 interview and a 2-part web-based survey in Phase 2 that included brainstorming (Step 1) and rating (Step 2) exercises using group concept mapping. In Phase 1, all 14 participants reported experiencing side effects from myasthenia gravis treatments which had significant impacts on daily life. In Phase 2, 246 participants contributed to Step 1; 158 returned for Step 2.


The brainstorming exercise produced 874 statements about side effects and their impact, which were reduced to 35 side effects and 23 impact-on-daily life statements. When rating these statements on severity, frequency, and tolerability, blood clots, infections/decreased immunity, weight gain, and diarrhea were the least tolerable and most severely rated. The most frequent and severe impacts were sleep interference and reduced physical and social activities.


Based on these findings, there appears to be a need for better and more tolerable treatments for myasthenia gravis patients.


Adherence to treatment; Health-related quality of life; MG; Myasthenia gravis; Side effects

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center