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Articles in skin conditions and diseases: Acne Actinic keratosis Albinism Basal cell nevus syndrome Bathing trunk nevus Birthmarks Cherry angioma Seborrheic keratosis Cutaneous skin tags Dermatitis Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Erythrasma Hives Ingrown toenails Keloid Keratosis pilaris Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome Leprosy Livedo reticularis Moles Mongolian blue spots Psoriasis Polymorphic light eruption Port wine stain Pyogenic granuloma Rosacea Scabies Scleroderma Sebaceous cysts Shingles Skin lesions Skin lesion of histoplasmosis Skin lesion of coccidioidomycosis Skin tags Smallpox Spider angioma Spider veins Superficial thrombophlebitis Tinea versicolor Urticaria pigmentosa Varicose veins Vitiligo Wegener's granulomatosis Xanthelasma and xanthoma

What is the treatment for Wegener's granulomatosis?

The goal is to make the diagnosis early and begin treatment before there is kidney failure. The primary treatment is with the medicines cyclophosphamide (an anti-cancer drug) and prednisone (a steroid). The disease can be stopped in up to 75% of patients treated with these medicines. However, up to half of the patients who are successfully treated will eventually

develop the disease again. Also, there is an increased risk of developing cancer in those patients treated with cyclophosphamide. Other drugs such as Methotrexate (an anti-cancer drug) and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (an antibiotic) can be used to prevent repeat flare-ups of the disease.

Wegener's granulomatosis is often treated with a combination of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. The corticosteroids control the inflammation, and the immunosuppressives appear to stop the growth of granulomas. The immunosuppressive drugs most commonly used to treat Wegener's granulomatosis are cyclophosphamide and methotrexate.

When therapy is started, corticosteroids are given in high doses. Usually, the dose can be lowered after about two to four months and gradually tapered until only the immunosuppressive drug is needed. The combination antibiotic trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is ineffective for life-threatening disease but has been beneficial in helping to keep patients in remission. Both corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs can produce serious side effects. When a person takes high doses of corticosteroids for several months, easy bruising, osteoporosis (thinning of the bones which can lead to fractures), cataracts, weight gain, and susceptibility to infections can result. Immunosuppressive drugs can cause anemia and other blood abnormalities, susceptibility to infections, nausea and vomiting, skin rash, sterility, and kidney and bladder problems. If a patient is taking cyclophosphamide, it is important to drink a lot of fluids (at least 3 liters or quarts of water a day) to avoid bladder infection.

More information on Wegener's granulomatosis

What is Wegener's granulomatosis? - Wegener's granulomatosis is an uncommon disorder characterized by inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis).
What are symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis? - Common symptoms and signs symptoms of Wegener's granulomatosis are pain in the sinuses and ears; nasal congestion and discharge and nosebleeds.
How is Wegener's granulomatosis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of Wegener's granulomatosis is confirmed by detecting both abnormal cellular formations and vasculitis.
What is the treatment for Wegener's granulomatosis? - Wegener's granulomatosis is often treated with a combination of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005