How to Treat the Wegener’s Disease ?

The treatment of Wegener’s Disease typically begins with an attempt to bring the inflammation under control in order to prevent organ damage. In moderate or severe cases this will usually be through corticosteroids (steroids) such as Prednisone or prednisolone plus cyclophosphamide, a cancer drug which aims to weaken your immune system. This aggressive intervention can literally be life-saving.

The cyclophosphamide will usually be given intravenously every two to four weeks, but sometimes comes in the form of a tablet, while the steroids are prescribed alongside this and are taken orally. The dose of steroids is typically reduced after a period of six months in order to reduce the long term side effects.

If the Wegener’s begins to respond to treatment then you may be given milder drugs which suppress your immune system such as methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil or azathioprine. The aim of these drugs is to keep you in remission for as long as possible. They do not have the potential long term side effects of steroids.

Prednisolone and methotrexate may be given alone if the Wegener’s is relatively mild, where there is no major organ damage – kidney involvement for instance.

In very severe Wegener’s large doses of methylprednisolone or plasmapheresis (plasma exchange) may also be given.

Antibiotic medication, such as Co-Trimoxazole (Septrin), may be administered to reduce the risk of chest and sinus infections.

Use of these drugs cause up to 90% of all Wegener’s sufferers to go into remission. However, the GPA re-occurs in over 60% of sufferers, so medication is generally required for a considerable length of time.

Once the medication takes effect surgery may be required to deal with tightening of the airways (fibrosis), nose deformity, obstruction of the tear ducts, ear problems or even a kidney transplant.

Newer, experimental drugs are being developed all of the time. One such drug which has been successful for a number of Wegener’s Disease sufferers is Rituximab.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.