Vasculitis
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Vasculitis

Vasculitis Treatment

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The goal of treatment is usually to reduce inflammation. People who have mild vasculitis may find relief with over-the-counter pain medicines. For severe vasculitis, you may receive prescription medicines. With treatment, vasculitis can go into remission, which is a period of time when you don’t have symptoms.

Medicine

Over-the-counter pain medicines can relieve symptoms of mild vasculitis. For more serious cases, your provider may prescribe medicines.

  • Corticosteroids reduce swelling in your blood vessels. For some types of vasculitis, you will need steroids for months or years. Corticosteroids can affect your bone density and raise your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Learn about other side effects and risks of corticosteroids.
  • Dual endothelin receptor antagonists block the action of a chemical called endothelin that can reduce blood flow.
  • Immunomodulators, such as colchicine, reduce the swelling that causes symptoms. Possible side effects can include gastrointestinal problems.
  • Immunosuppressive medicines, such as cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil, suppress or weaken the immune system. Possible side effects include an increased risk of infection and birth defects.
  • Interferon therapy block and reduce swelling. Interferons are molecules that the immune system normally makes, but they have also been developed as medicines.
  • Interleukin antagonists reduce swelling by blocking a protein in the body that causes the swelling.
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) helps control the body’s immune response. This medicine also fights infection by introducing purified antibodies from healthy donors into the bloodstream. Some people may have a strong negative immune response to IVIG.
  • Monoclonal antibodies suppress the immune system. Possible side effects include fever-like symptoms, stomach pain, and allergic reactions.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce swelling in the body. One possible side effect is increased bleeding.
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitors increase blood flow by blocking the action of a particular enzymes in the body. Possible side effects include headaches, heart palpitations, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors suppress the immune system by blocking a protein called tumor necrosis factor alpha.

Procedures or surgery

  • Plasmapheresis, a procedure where blood plasma is removed and then replaced 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 to treat vasculitis is rare.
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