Medical Management

Treatment with drugs that suppress the immune system has been tried in inclusion-body myositis (IBM) but in general hasn’t been effective. Some physicians may try corticosteroids or other medications that alter the immune response if the patient wishes this treatment, but many feel that side effects outweigh any subtle benefits that might occur with these drugs in IBM.

IBM is generally a slowly progressive disease, and life expectancy isn’t significantly affected. Most people with IBM remain able to walk, although they may require a cane or wheelchair for long distances. Some are more profoundly affected, becoming gradually more disabled and needing wheelchairs full time within 10 or 15 years of the first symptoms.

The heart and lung involvement seen in other inflammatory myopathies isn't part of the picture. And unlike dermatomyositis and polymyositis, IBM is not associated with an elevated cancer risk.

Disease: