Monday, October 15, 2007

Treatments for Behcet's

There is no cure for Behçet's disease. Treatment for Behcet's focuses on reducing discomfort and preventing serious complications. Effective treatment, however, results in longer durations between Behcet's 'flares'. Treatments are both topical and oral, used singly or in combination to pain and discomfort. Oral treatments include rinses, gels, pastes, ointments and creams usually containing corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and/or other anti-inflammatory drugs to suppress the overactive immune system, and relieve symptoms.

The treatment of Behçet's syndrome depends on the severity and the location of its manifestations in individual patients; below are commonly prescribed medications.

Colchicine can minimize recurrent ulcerations, treat mucous membrane and skin symptoms in Behcet's. Joint inflammation can require non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen and others) or oral steroids. Colchicine and oral and injectable cortisone are used for inflammation involving the joints, eyes, skin, and brain. (interesting: a research study in Turkey showed that it is more effective in males than females.) And it is not without some pretty nasty side-effects.

Sulfasalazine has been effective in some patients for arthritis.

Prednisone is a corticosteroid used to reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body for people with severe joint pain, skin sores, eye disease, or central nervous system symptoms and is seful in early stages of disease and for acute severe flares but are of limited use for long-term management of central nervous system and serious eye complications.

Immunosuppressive drugs help control an overactive immune system which occurs in Behçet's disease, reduce inflammation throughout the body, and can lessen the number of disease flares. Doctors may use them when a patient has eye disease or central nervous system involvement with the Behcet's; they also have serious side effects. Doctors may use one or more of the following drugs depending on specific symptoms: Azathioprine (Imuran) is used to suppress the immune system it is now used for people with Behçet's disease to treat uveitis and other uncontrolled disease manifestations. This medicine can upset the stomach and may reduce production of new blood cells by the bone marrow. Chlorambucil is used to treat uveitis and meningoencephalitis. Cyclophosphamide is referred to as a cytotoxic drug. Unfortunately, normal cells also are affected, and this results in serious side effects. Cytoxan also suppresses the immune system and is also referred to as immunosuppressive. Cyclosporine when used by patients with Behçet's disease reduces uveitis and uncontrolled disease in other organs.

No comments: