Generic Name(s): pyridostigmine bromide
Drug Class: cholinergic
Treats: myasthenia gravis
Mestinon works to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a substance naturally occurring in the body. This permits free transmission of nerve impulses across the neuromuscular junction. This helps preserve and aid muscle function - acetylcholine is, in fact, necessary for proper muscular function. Its deterioration is sometimes caused by certain medical conditions.
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Mestinon is used to treat certain conditions that cause the deterioration of the muscles, specifically the disease myasthenia gravis. Mestinon does not cure or prevent the disease, but it can improve muscle strength and slow muscular deterioration.
It's also sometimes used on military personnel who have been exposed to nerve gas. Mestinon may have other uses at the discretion of individual physicians.
- myasthenia gravis
- deterioration of the muscles
Mestinon is prescribed by physicians in the form of a pill, tablet, or liquid to be swallowed. It is also available in an extended-release form. Mestinon may be taken either with or without food. However, taking it with food or milk may decrease the chance of side effects.
If you are taking a liquid dose of Mestinon, be sure to measure precisely according to the directions given by your physician. Dosage varies depending on individual factors such as age, weight, and response to treatment.
- The average prescribed dose is 60 mg to be taken up to 25 times daily depending upon the severity of the condition.
Mestinon Side Effects
Like any other drug, Mestinon may cause side effects. You should contact your doctor if you suffer any severe side effects. Below you will find a list of common side effects. Note that not all possible side effects are listed here.
- increased sweating
- abdominal cramps
- increased urination
- decreased pupil size
- increased saliva and mucus
Alert your physician if any of those effects become persistent or particularly bothersome. Rarer but more serious side effects of this medication can include:
- shortness of breath
- new or increased difficulty swallowing
- slow heartbeat
- new or increased muscle cramps, twitches, or weakness
Consult with your physician as soon as possible if you experience any of those side effects. Seek emergency medical treatment if you experience symptoms of a severe allergic reaction after taking Mestinon.
Like any other drug, Mestinon may interact with other drugs and substances. You should consult with your doctor or medical professional before adding any new medication, including over the counter drugs. Below is a list of drugs that have been known to interact with Mestinon. Note that this list does not include all possible drug interactions.
- antiarrhythmic medications
- eye medications
- beta blockers
- narcotic pain medications
Avoid taking any of those medications while on Mestinon, unless specifically instructed by your physician. As with any medication, you should provide your physician with a complete list of any medications and supplements you are currently taking or plan to take during treatment before starting Mestinon.