Medications and supplements

Medications are used to treat certain symptoms. For example:

  • seizures can be controlled with medications called anti-convulsants
  • muscle cramping and stiffness may be relieved with medications called muscle relaxants
  • spasticity (tight or rigid muscles that constantly contract) can be eased with medications or injections of Botox®

Recent research has shown that several vitamin supplements can help relieve symptoms and improve function. They are often called the “Mitochondrial cocktail”. Your doctor may recommend some or all of these supplements:

  • creatine monohydrate
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • alpha lipoic acid
  • co-enzyme Q10
  • riboflavin
  • thiamine
  • L-carnitine
  • L-arginine

A program called Inherited Metabolic Diseases (IMD) will cover the cost of these medications for people in Ontario with confirmed Mitochondrial disease. A metabolic specialist can apply to the program for you and arrange to have the mitochondrial cocktail prepared.

The IMD program only works with these hospitals:

  • McMaster Children’s Hospital
  • The Hospital for Sick Children (“Sickkids”)
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
  • Kingston General Hospital
  • London Health Sciences Centre

Medications are only available from the pharmacies at these hospitals.

If you live more than 1 hour away, you can arrange for the pharmacy to deliver the supplements to your home for a small fee. Ask the specialist to provide a 3-month supply to reduce the number of trips you have to make to the hospital. When calling to get a refill of your prescription, please allow 3 or 4 days for the pharmacist to prepare the medications.

Please note: The coverage of the cost of the above supplements is subject to change, and varies substantially between Canadian provinces at this time.

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