The goal of vasculitis treatment is usually to slow down the body’s inflammatory attack on your blood vessels. People who have mild vasculitis may find relief with over-the-counter pain medicines. For severe vasculitis, you may be prescribed medicines. With treatment, vasculitis can go into remission, which is a period of time when you don’t have symptoms.
Over-the-counter pain medicines can relieve symptoms of mild vasculitis. For more serious cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines.
- Anti-inflammatory medicine, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) can lower pain and infection-fighting activity in the body. One possible side effect is increased bleeding. Your provider may run liver function and blood tests before prescribing this medicine.
- Corticosteroids lower the activity of the body’s defense system in your blood vessels. For some types of vasculitis, you will need steroids for months or years. Corticosteroids can lower your bone density, raise your blood sugar and blood pressure levels and cause your skin to get thinner.
- Dual endothelin receptor antagonists block the action of a chemical called endothelin that can reduce blood flow.
- Immunomodulators lower the defense system activity () that causes symptoms. Possible side effects can include problems.
- medicines suppress or weaken the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. Possible side effects include a higher risk of infection and birth defects.
- Interferon therapy blocks and reduces swelling. Interferons are molecules that the body’s defense system normally makes, but they have also been developed as medicines.
- Interleukin antagonists lower natural infection-fighting activity in the body by blocking a key protein.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) helps control the body’s defensive response. This medicine also fights infection by introducing purified antibodies from healthy donors into the bloodstream.
- Monoclonal antibodies suppress the body’s natural defense system against illness. Possible side effects include fever-like symptoms, stomach pain, and allergic reactions.
- Phosphodiesterase inhibitors increase blood flow by blocking the action of particular in the body. Possible side effects include headaches, heart palpitations, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.
- Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors suppress the body’s defense system by blocking a protein called tumor necrosis factor alpha.
Procedures or surgery
- Plasmapheresis, a procedure where blood plasma is removed and then replaced with donor plasma or saline to lower plasma antibody levels, may be performed.
- Surgical bypass of the blood vessels may help restore blood flow to some areas in Buerger’s disease. Surgery is rarely used to treat vasculitis.