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When the diagnosis of a mitochondrial disease is made, you (as a patient) may be confronted with medication/drugs to be used. Up to now there is no treatment for mitochondrial disorders. There are no therapies which can solve the primary problem: the lack of energy. However, it is possible to deal with specific complaints with so called symptomatic treatments. For example: a mitochondrial disorder can lead to epileptic seizures, which can be treated with anti-epileptics or in case of cardiomyopathy (when the heart muscle is affected) specific heart medication can be given. Additionally, you can be confronted with medication when you have to undergo surgery or medical investigation and need anaesthesia.

It is of the utmost importance to realise that certain drugs may be potentially harmful for patients with mitochondrial disorders. The cause of the possible larger risk of unwanted negative effects of certain drugs with mitochondrial disorders in general lies in the fact that the drugs have a negative impact on the mitochondrial function. The (group of) drugs of which it is scientifically known that there is an (possible) increased risk on harmful effects with mitochondrial patients are listed in the table below. The kind of scientific evidence for negative effects on the mitochondrial function differs per (group of) drugs. We labelled the (group of) drugs based on the kind of scientific evidence, while we do not aim to restrict important drugs in a condition where treatment options are already so limited. In the majority it concerns experimental data, marked as yellow. These drugs may be used under strict monitoring of side effects. For other drugs scientific evidence concerns experimental data and single case reports, marked as orange. These drugs should be used with caution, discuss with specialist. Or a few drugs scientific evidence is profound, marked as red. These drugs are contraindicated.

The list of potentially harmful drugs for mito's can be found on this website under the menu 'mito disease'. The list is updated every 6 months and is available in English, French and Dutch.


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