Pyridostigmine is used to improve muscle strength in patients with a certain muscle disease (myasthenia gravis). It works by preventing the breakdown of a certain natural substance (acetylcholine) in your body. Acetylcholine is needed for normal muscle function.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
If you are using the extended-release tablets, take as directed by your doctor, usually 1 to 2 times daily (at least 6 hours apart). Do not crush or chew extended-release tablets. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.
Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
The tablet forms of this medication may become discolored due to moisture. This does not affect how well the medication works.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, increased saliva/sweating, runny nose, decreased pupil size, or increased urination may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: new or increased muscle cramps/weakness/twitching, slow heartbeat, dizziness.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking pyridostigmine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to bromides; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: stomach/intestinal blockage, urinary blockage, lung disease (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), kidney disease, slow/irregular heartbeat.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Liquid products may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, liver disease, or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk but is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations), fast/slow heartbeat, muscle cramps/weakness, inability to move, trouble breathing.
Do not share this medication with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised December 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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