Treatment for dermatomyositis usually includes an exercise plan, physical therapy, avoidance of sun exposure, oral corticosteroids, and topical medications. Most benefit from the addition of medications that suppress the immune system. Most people respond to treatment, but some experience long-standing muscle weakness.
Treatment for dermatomyositis may include:
- Bed rest for severe muscle inflammation
- For those with difficulty swallowing:
- Elevate head of bed
- Avoid eating before bedtime
- Exercise plan developed with your doctor.
- Physical therapy for dermatomyositis
- Avoid sun exposure.
- Oral corticosteroids for dermatomyositis:
- Potassium supplements
- Medications that suppress the immune system:
- Methotrexate (Folex, Rheumatrex)
- Azathioprine (Imuran)
- Mycophenolate (CellCept)
- Sirolimus (Rapamune)
- Rituximab (Rituxan)
- Antimalarial agents:
- Immune globulins:
- Topical medications for dermatomyositis:
- Calcium channel blockers:
Dermatomyositis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of dermatomyositis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Continue to Dermatomyositis Home Care
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- Peloro TM, Miller OF 3rd, Hahn TF, Newman ED. Juvenile dermatomyositis: a retrospective review of a 30-year experience. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Jul;45(1):28-34. 
- Peretz B. Juvenile dermatomyositis: literature review and report of a case. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2001 Oct;22(10):858-62, 864. 
- Yang Y, Fujita J, Tokuda M, et al. Clinical features of polymyositis/dermatomyositis associated with silicosis and a review of the literature. Rheumatol Int. 2001 Aug;20(6):235-8.