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Table 6 Severity1 of side effects of myasthenia gravis treatment2 by refractory group

From: Understanding side effects of therapy for myasthenia gravis and their impact on daily life

Side Effect StatementRefractory with IVIg (N = 41), n, mean (SD)Refractory without IVIg (N = 88), n, mean (SD)Non-Refractory (N = 24) n, mean (SD)P value3
1. …caused me to gain weight.32, 3.2 (0.7)69, 2.8 (0.8)14, 2.6 (0.9)0.068
2. …caused me to have muscle weakness, causing my legs to be unsteady.30, 2.9 (0.8)58, 2.7 (0.6)12, 2.6 (0.5)0.173
3. …caused me to have low blood pressure (hypotension).8, 2.8 (0.9)21, 2.7 (0.7)3, 2.0 (0.0)0.317
4. …caused me to lose weight.8, 2.8 (1.0)17, 2.5 (0.6)2, 2.0 (0.0)0.455
5. …caused me to have shortness of breath.24, 2.7 (0.8)51, 2.8 (0.7)11, 2.2 (0.4)0.051
6. …caused side effects such as acid reflux, heart burn, indigestion, esophageal ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome.23, 2.5 (0.7)51, 2.9 (0.8)15, 2.7 (0.9)0.213
7. …caused severe side effects such as: aseptic meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, pleural edema, fluid in the heart, allergic/anaphylactic reactions, or internal bleeding.12, 3.4 (0.8)16, 3.2 (0.7)3, 3.0 (0.0)0.551
8. …caused changes to my skin, such as bruising more easily, taking longer for wounds to heal, acne, stretch marks, and scalp burn.25, 2.8 (0.7)56, 2.7 (0.7)10, 2.6 (0.5)0.823
9. …caused me to have headaches or migraines.28, 2.6 (0.8)44, 2.6 (0.8)5, 2.2 (0.4)0.483
10. …caused muscle wasting.20, 2.5 (0.7)38, 2.4 (0.6)6, 2.3 (0.5)0.856
11. …caused vision changes, such as double vision.26, 2.8 (0.8)50, 2.9 (0.8)10, 2.5 (0.7)0.413
12. …caused watery eyes, increased saliva, nasal drainage, secretions, or mucus.25, 2.6 (0.6)56, 2.7 (0.7)16, 2.7 (0.8)0.717
13. …caused me to be fatigued. I felt weak, tired, drained, and exhausted while on this treatment.36, 2.8 (0.7)64, 2.9 (0.7)14, 2.6 (0.6)0.228
14. …caused side effects such as constipation, stomach cramps, intestinal pain and cramping, stomach bloating, and gas.28, 2.7 (0.7)64, 2.7 (0.8)12, 2.8 (0.9)0.960
15. …caused me to become forgetful, confused, and have problems concentrating.23, 2.5 (0.5)43, 2.7 (0.7)10, 2.3 (0.5)0.241
16. …caused me to have mood changes, which may include mood swings, anger or rage, hyperactivity, or lack of interest.26, 2.8 (0.8)56, 2.7 (0.8)11, 2.4 (0.5)0.292
17. …caused me to have fluid retention (such as edema or swelling) in my arms or legs.22, 2.6 (0.7)36, 2.5 (0.7)6, 2.8 (1.0)0.624
18. …caused me to have heart problems such as an increased heart rate, heart palpitations, or an irregular heartbeat.20, 2.7 (0.7)29, 2.6 (0.8)2, 2.5 (0.7)0.944
19. …caused changes to my laboratory values (blood tests) such as white blood cells, red blood cells, calcium, vitamin B12, creatinine, altered kidney function, or increased cholesterol.30, 2.5 (0.7)51, 2.5 (0.7)5, 2.4 (0.5)0.885
20. …caused my extremities (toes, fingers) to become tingly and sensitive to the cold.21, 2.3 (0.6)32, 2.4 (0.6)11, 2.6 (0.8)0.367
21. …caused a mild allergic reaction such as hives or rashes.18, 2.3 (0.6)22, 2.4 (0.7)5, 2.0 (0.0)0.374
22. …caused me to have diarrhea.30, 2.7 (0.8)61, 3.0 (0.8)14, 3.0 (0.9)0.436
23. …caused my face to bloat or swell.28, 2.7 (0.7)46, 2.7 (0.7)8, 2.8 (1.0)0.951
24. …made me feel lightheaded or dizzy.26, 2.3 (0.6)37, 2.4 (0.6)8, 2.5 (0.8)0.823
25. …caused me to become depressed, anxious, or nervous.25, 2.7 (0.7)49, 2.8 (0.8)n, 2.4 (0.5)0.318
26. …decreased my immune response causing me to become sick more easily.29, 2.7 (0.7)56, 2.8 (0.8)7, 2.4 (0.5)0.428
27. …caused me to develop other medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, cataracts or macular degeneration, adrenal insufficiency, and lipomatosis.20, 2.7 (0.7)28, 2.8 (0.8)4, 2.5 (0.6)0.625
28. …caused me to become infertile.03, 2.7 (1.2)0 
29. …caused me to have muscle cramps in my legs.32, 2.5 (0.8)61, 2.7 (0.7)18, 2.4 (0.8)0.343
30. …caused me aches and pain in various parts of my body.29, 2.4 (0.6)46, 2.7 (0.7)9, 2.6 (0.7)0.110
31. …caused me to have nausea and/or vomiting.20, 2.4 (0.6)35, 2.6 (0.7)5, 2.8 (0.8)0.318
32. …caused muscle twitching and eye twitching or eyelid drooping.24, 2.6 (0.7)54, 2.6 (0.8)13, 2.7 (0.9)0.919
33. …caused me to have hot flashes and to sweat profusely.25, 2.6 (0.8)43, 2.5 (0.7)10, 2.4 (0.5)0.594
34. …caused me to develop blood clots.5, 3.0 (1.0)6, 3.8 (0.4)00.093
35. …caused me to have high blood pressure (hypertension).19, 2.4 (0.6)26, 2.6 (0.8)3, 2.3 (0.6)0.579
  1. 1 Severity was assessed on a 1–4 scale, with 1 being ‘have not experienced this side effect’ and 4 being ‘very severe.’ Participants who endorsed an item with ‘1–have not experienced this side effect’ were excluded from the analysis
  2. 2 Five participants were excluded from this analysis. Four participants did not complete the demographic section, but completed Step 2. One participant completed the demographic section, but did not complete Step 2
  3. 3 P-values to compare the three groups are based on ANOVA for continuous variables