The specific medications used to treat myositis are very similar to those employed to treat other rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis. The choice depends on the severity of the disease and on the clinical manifestations or organ systems affected. Corticosteroids are nearly always initially used but any one of several immunosuppressive agents alone or in combination should be considered in the treatment of myositis and include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Azathioprine (Imuran)
  • Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept)
  • Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
  • Tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Rituximab (Rituxan)
  • Intravenous immune globulin (IVIg)

Living with myositis

Although myositis is serious and potentially life-threatening, this disease is treatable and the outcomes are generally favorable. However, like most autoimmune conditions, myositis is chronic and frequent follow-up with a rheumatologist and other specialist(s) are important. Patients should remain active and can even participate in an exercise program while they are being treated for myositis. It is important to communicate with your doctor regarding the disease and its treatment and patients must also maintain close follow-up with their primary care physician regarding regular check-ups and general health maintenance. There are very good support groups for patients with myositis and The Myositis Association (TMA) is an excellent source of patient support and disease and treatment-related information.

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Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Offices

S700 Biomedical Science Tower
3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-383-8000  |  Email Us

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