a group of people stare at the labels on their antibiotics

What To Know About Antibiotics and Myasthenia Gravis

If you have myasthenia gravis (MG), certain drugs can make your MG symptoms worse. It is important that you and your doctors are aware of which drugs should be used with caution and which drugs should be avoided.1-5

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections. While it is very rare, some types of antibiotics can make MG symptoms worse or cause serious, life-threatening reactions.1-5

Potential for negative reactions

The antibiotics that are most likely to worsen MG are usually given in the hospital to treat very serious infections. For example, some drugs like telithromycin (Ketek) have a boxed warning in their prescribing information that lets doctors know that people with MG should not take them.1-5

A list of antibiotics that people with MG should use with caution is included at the end of this article. While some of these are well known to interfere with MG, some may be used with a doctor’s supervision if your MG is well controlled. Just be sure to tell your doctor if you notice your MG symptoms getting worse while you take these or any types of drugs.1-5

Whichs ones should I avoid?

The following antibiotics are listed by their generic names. Brand names for these antibiotics follow in parentheses.1-5

  • Acrosoxacin (Rosoxacin or Eradicil)
  • Amikacin (Amikin, Amiglyde-V, Arikayce)
  • Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zithromax Z-Pak, AzaSite, Zmax, and Zithromax TRI-PAK)
  • Cinoxacin (Cinobac)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cetraxal, Cipro, Cipro XR, Otiprio, and Ciloxan)
  • Doxycycline (Monodox, Doxy-100, Targadox)
  • Erythromycin (Ery-tab, Erygel, E.E.S. 400)
  • Gentamicin (Gentak)
  • Kanamycin
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Lymecycline
  • Minocycline (Minocin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avalox, Vigamox, Moxeza)
  • Nalidixic Acid (Nevigramon, Neggram, Wintomylon)
  • Netilmicin
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin, Chibroxin, Trizolin)
  • Ofloxacin (Ocuflox, Floxin)
  • Oxytetracycline
  • Streptomycin
  • Telithromycin (Ketek)
  • Tetracycline (Sumycin)
  • Tobramycin (Tobi Podhaler, Bethkis, Tobrex)

Talk to your doctor

If you need to be treated with antibiotics, be sure to double-check with your doctor or pharmacist that the antibiotic is safe for people with myasthenia gravis.

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