Pyridostigmine is used to decrease muscle weakness resulting from myasthenia gravis.
Side Effects Of Pyridostigmine
Pyridostigmine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- pale skin
- cold sweats
- blurred vision
- watery eyes
- increased urge to urinate
- anxiousness and feelings of panic
- muscle weakness
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- severe itching, skin rash, or hives
- slurred speech
- difficulty breathing
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking pyridostigmine:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to pyridostigmine, bromides, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in pyridostigmine preparations. Ask your pharmacist or check the patient information for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially allergy or cold medications, dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Hydrocortone), magnesium-containing products, medications for heart arrhythmias, sleeping pills, and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had intestinal or bladder blockage, asthma, seizures, heart or kidney disease, thyroid problems, or stomach ulcers.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking pyridostigmine, call your doctor.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
Dosage Of Pyridostigmine
Pyridostigmine comes as a regular tablet, an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and a syrup to take by mouth. It usually is taken once, twice, or several times a day, depending on the type of tablet. Your doctor may change your dose, depending on how you respond to the drug. When you first start taking pyridostigmine, your doctor may want you to keep a daily record of the time you take each dose, how long you feel better after taking each dose, and if you have side effects. This record will help the doctor decide how much drug is best for you. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take pyridostigmine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not chew or crush them.
Continue to take pyridostigmine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking pyridostigmine without talking to your doctor.
Pyridostigmine overdose can cause severe illness, including muscle weakness. It is very hard to tell the difference between too little and too much pyridostigmine. Call your doctor immediately if your symptoms become worse.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to pyridostigmine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.