Treatment for myopathies depends on the cause. The goals of myopathy treatment are to slow progression of the disease and relieve symptoms.
Treatments range from drug therapy for muscular dystrophies and inflammatory myopathies to avoiding situations that work the muscles too hard for metabolic myopathies. Some physicians recommend that patients with myopathy keep their weight down (a lighter body demands less work from the muscles) and avoid overexerting the muscles.
When breathing problems develop, an incentive spirometer can help improve breathing function in some patients. Unfortunately, there is no way to strengthen the breathing muscles.
The goals of MD treatment are to slow progression of disease and relieve symptoms. Duchenne MD and Becker MD are the subjects of current medical research and clinical trials may be available for patients with either disease.
Corticosteroids (e.g., deflazacort, prednisone) seem to be the most effective medications. Both improve strength and walking ability for about 6 months in boys with Duchenne dystrophy. Following initial improvement, further progression of the disease may be delayed for 3 to 5 years in some cases.
Prolonged use of corticosteroids can cause severe side effects including the following: