Azathioprine in the treatment of myasthenia gravis

Arnold S. Witte, David R. Cornblath, Gareth J Parry, Robert P. Lisak, Norman J. Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Twenty‐four patients with myasthenia gravis were treated with azathioprine. Eighteen of the patients tolerated the drug. Six discontinued azathioprine therapy because of toxicity. Of the 18 patients, 15 (83%) improved while receiving azathioprine; in 8 (44%) improvement was felt to result solely from azathioprine. Initial response was seen after 4 to 10 months of treatment, with a mean of 6.4 months. Patients continued to improve for up to 24 months, with the mean time of peak improvement being 14 months. Relapse occurred within one year in all 6 patients in whom azathioprine administration was discontinued. Azathioprine is a reasonable alternative to corticosteroids in selected myasthenic patients requiring immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-605
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1984


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