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Inflammatory Myositis

Inflammatory Myositis - How to prevent?

Inflammatory Myositis - Causes and Risk Factors

Inflammatory Myositis - Treatments

While there are no known cures for myositis at the moment, treatment strategies aim to alleviate symptoms and manage the progression of the condition through the following methods:


For dermatomyositis and polymyositis, doctors usually start with high dose corticosteroids (eg. prednisolone) for about 4 – 6 weeks. When the condition improves the dosage is then slowly reduced. Other immunosuppressive treatments may be added (eg. methotrexate).

Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) (an injection of antibodies) may occasionally be effective in cases that fail the above first-line treatments. If IVIG is effective, it needs to be continued on a long term basis, although in lower doses to maintain the effect.

Another form of treatment in patients who do not respond well to conventional drugs is plasmapharesis or plasma exchange. This is a type of blood cleansing in which the damaging antibodies are removed from the blood. Often the effect is temporary.

In patients with drug-induced myositis, the medication causing the myositis will need to be stopped and replaced with an alternative. At the moment there is no effective treatment for inclusion body myositis.


Physical therapy and specially designed exercise programmes are very important for recovery of muscle strength.

Dermatomyositis associated with cancer

Treatment of the underlying cancer should take priority either by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Most people with dermatomyositis and polymyositis eventually regain their strength with proper treatment. But there are risks of complications such as infections at the lungs arising from swallowing and breathing difficulties. 

Inclusion myositis usually progresses very slowly and does not affect a person’s lifespan unless complications like infections set in. In most cases of drug-induced myositis, the symptoms subside when the offending drug is stopped.

What you can do

If you are suffering from myositis, here's what you can do to cope:

  • Know your illness. Discuss with your doctor and nurse and seek more information from reliable sources
  • Have adequate rest and sleep. Eat a nutritious diet and pace your daily activities. Do not overdo things or tire yourself. Stretch often and do gentle exercises at home
  • Keep a positive attitude and do not isolate yourself
  • Wear sunscreens when you go out into the sun, especially if you have a rash

Inflammatory Myositis - Preparing for surgery

Inflammatory Myositis - Post-surgery care

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth