Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

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What are home remedies for polymyositis and dermatomyositis?

The best home remedy is to closely monitor the condition with the physician and physical therapist. It is best to not over-exercise early on but gradually increase exercise for optimal results.

What is the prognosis for polymyositis?

The outcome for patients with polymyositis varies. While some have a relatively brief illness followed by remission not requiring subsequent treatment, others develop episodes of remissions and exacerbations requiring more or less treatment.

The presence of Jo-1 antibody, a myositis antibody, is predictive of an increased risk for the development of inflammation of the tissues of the lungs (interstitial lung disease). This can lead to permanent suboptimal lung function. Pulmonary function testing can be used to detect early lung abnormalities.

What are risk factors for worse outcomes with polymyositis or dermatomyositis?

Patients with polymyositis tend to have a higher risk for worse outcomes with older age, delay in cortisone treatment, cancer, lung or heart disease, or difficulty swallowing.

Cancer screening is performed, especially in patients with dermatomyositis, due to an increased risk of cancer in patients with muscle inflammation.

Is it possible to prevent polymyositis?

There is no prevention for polymyositis. When the precise cause of polymyositis is identified, preventative measures might be possible.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2016

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