More Medicines Used for Behcet's Disease

Immunosuppressive Medicines
For Bechet's disease treatment, immunosuppressive medicines (in addition to corticosteroids) help to:
  • Control an overactive immune system
  • Reduce inflammation throughout the body
  • Lessen the number of disease flares.
Doctors may use immunosuppressive drugs when a person has eye disease or central nervous system impairment. These medicines are strong and can have serious side effects. Patients must see their doctor regularly for blood tests to detect and monitor side effects.
Doctors may use one or more of the following immunosuppressive medicines, depending on the person's specific symptoms:
Azathioprine is most commonly prescribed for people with organ transplants, because it suppresses the immune system, and is now used for people with Behcet'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 or Cyclophosphamide
Doctors may use these drugs to treat uveitis, meningitis, and encephalitis. People taking either agent must see their doctor frequently, because either drug can have serious side effects, such as permanent sterility and cancers of the blood. Patients have regular blood tests to monitor blood counts of white blood cells and platelets (organisms in white blood cells that promote clotting).
Like azathioprine, doctors prescribe this medicine for people with organ transplants. When used by patients for Behcet's disease treatment, cyclosporine reduces uveitis and uncontrolled disease manifestations in other organs. To reduce the risk of side effects, such as kidney and liver disease, the doctor can adjust the dose. Patients must tell their doctor if they are taking any other medicines, because some medicines affect the way the body uses cyclosporine.
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