Should Patients with Family History of Myasthenia Gravis Avoid Botox?

If my grandmother had Myasthenia Gravis, should I avoid Botox? Her symptoms started in her 70s, with a droopy eyelid. I don't think I have the disease but noticed if you have it, you can't use Botox. Does the fact that my grandmother had it, put me at risk?

Doctor Answers 6

Check with your doctor first

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Some patients with certain diseases have minimal expression of symptoms, if any at all, until the disease is provoked by some stimulus or stress. If you have an underlying predisposition for myasthenia gravis then possibly the Botulinum toxin could precipitate such symptoms. You should consult with a neurologist first, to be sure

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Botox and myasthenia

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As long as you don't have myasthenia gravis yourself, you should be okay. Family history is important, but if you are not having any symptoms and your primary care agrees that you are not having any symptoms than Botox will be okay for you. As the others have said, the risk is that the action of Botox will be prolonged if you have myasthenia gravis. Above all, go to a board certified physician so that a qualified person is doing the injecting.

Good luck!

Dr. Mariwalla

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Myasthenia Gravis & Botox

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You can get checked for Myasthenia Gravis and then proceed to get Botox. The risk with myasthenia gravis and Botox is a very prolonged effect of Botox. If done properly you can still be ok. However if someone develops droopy eyelid, it can take very long to recover.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

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Botox is safe if your grandmother has myasthenia and you don't.

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If you do not have myasthenia, it is safe to get Botox treatments. If your grandmother had myasthenia beginning in her 70's, your risk of developing myasthenia remains very small, assuming you don't have other risk factors- like having other autoimmune diseases. Most people who have myasthenia that runs in their family have a form in which they develop the disease in childhood.
You can feel comfortable trying Botox- you'll love it!

Nancy Swartz, MS, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Oculoplastic Surgeon

Patients with family history of Myasthenia Gravis should be OK for Botox

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Provided that you do not have Myasthenia, the family history is not a reason to avoid BOTOX. Exposure to BOTOX will not cause the condition. The precaution is taken to avoid BOTOX in individual who have motor nerve conditions because the combination has the potential to cause an additive effect that would be undesirable.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Should Be OK

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Myasthenia Gravis is a relatively rare chronic, autoimmune neuromuscular disorder, which in some ways is nature's version of BOTOX. It leads to fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscles.

In MG, the victim produces antibodies which react and blocks or destroys the muscle receptor site. When the nerve to activate those muscles deploys its acetylcholine there is no landing space on the neuromuscular junction and the muscle fails to contract. Having similarities to BOTOX, MG is a contraindication for BOTOX.
MG is not inherited and you should not be at any risk. If you are nervous about this, you can ask your physician to measure for the abnormal auto (self)antibodies that are the hallmark of MG. Some people with the antibodies nevertheless fail to develop symptoms of this condition. By all means if you have such symptoms of MG as a droopy eyelid ( the BOTOX version is a quaz), slurred speech, blurred or double vision, difficulty in chewing or swallowing, or breathing problems, you should inform your physician. Of course, you should tell him/her about grandma. ( By the way, give thanks to all the great scientists and medicine for allowing your grandmother to live so long with a once fatal disease).

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.