Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, your doctor’s first goal will be to reduce inflammation that may be causing damage to your blood vessels. Once vasculitis is in a state of remission (that is, it’s under control), your doctor will then prescribe maintenance therapy in an effort to maintain this state.
Initially, necrotizing vasculitis is treated with a type of steroid called a corticosteroid. This type of medication helps reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids are prescribed at high doses at first.
If the disease becomes less severe, your doctor can gradually decrease your medication dosage. Prednisolone (Pred Mild) and methylprednisolone (Medrol) are two examples of these corticosteroids.
You may also need to begin taking cyclophosphamide if your symptoms don’t improve or if they’re very severe. This is a chemotherapy drug used to treat cancers. Cyclophosphamide is proven effective in treating certain forms of vasculitis.
You’ll continue taking these medications even after your symptoms go away. You should take them for at least a year after you stop having symptoms.
Your doctor may also prescribe a biologic therapy if conventional treatment is not effective. This type of therapy targets specific parts of the immune system. An example medication is rituximab (Rituxan).
Once you have entered remission, your doctor will prescribe medications for maintenance therapy while tapering off your steroid medication. Possible medications used for maintenance therapy include azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan) and methotrexate. These are both immunosuppressive drugs.
Other areas of your body need to be close monitoring during treatment for SNV:
- nervous system
If any conditions affecting these areas develop, your doctor can prescribe appropriate treatment for those as well.