Vasculitis refers to a condition that causes inflammation to develop within the body’s blood vessels. This inflammation is the result of the body mistakenly attacking itself, and it could be the result of an infection, certain types of cancer, an allergic reaction, or an autoimmune disease. Your doctor will be able to diagnose you with the type of vasculitis that your body has been affected by, and then he or she will be able to provide you with the appropriate treatment based upon your needs. Check out the information below to learn more about the various treatment options that are available for this potentially serious condition.
Suppress the Immune System
If you have been diagnosed with autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, your body is attacking itself and causing the vasculitis to occur. This could be the result of an underlying autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or lupus, as a few examples. In this case, your doctor might prescribe medications that are designed to treat the underlying disorder and suppress the immune system so that it will no longer be able to attack the body.
Medications That Might Help
Here are a few of the medications that are commonly prescribed to treat vasculitis:
- Rituximab: If you have rheumatoid arthritis and it has caused vasculitis, your doctor may choose to prescribe rituximab. This medication is administered as an infusion that could take several hours.
- Prednisone: Steroids may be prescribed in cases of vasculitis in an effort to suppress the action of the immune system against the body. An example is prednisone, which is considered a glucocorticoid medication that acts quickly. This prescription can be used to treat every form of vasculitis, and it could be administered by vein or by mouth.
- Methotrexate: This medication can be prescribed to treat several types of autoimmune diseases, and those include vasculitis. It could also be used to treat cancer, but vasculitis patients will receive a much lower dose. It can be administered as an injection or it can be taken in tablet form.
- Cytoxan: Also known as cyclophosphamide, this prescription is an older medication that could be used to treat severe small and medium vessel vasculitis cases. It could be administered intravenously or orally, and it could also be prescribed to treat cancer.
Sometimes Treatment Is Not Necessary
When vasculitis is mild or the result of an allergic reaction to a medication or toxin, your doctor may decide that you do not need any treatment. Instead, he or she might tell you to remove the offending agent so that your body can heal itself as the vasculitis resolves on its own.
Now that you have a better understanding of the many treatment options for vasculitis, you can talk to your doctor about which routes would be best for you, as well as the side effects that are associated with each. If you have been exhibiting the symptoms of vasculitis, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor for an examination, as this condition could lead to serious complications.