Other Options for Managing Behcet's Disease
Colchicine is commonly used to treat gout (a form of arthritis) and reduces inflammation throughout the body. The medicine is sometimes used to treat arthritis, mucous membrane symptoms, and skin symptoms in patients with Behcet's disease. A research study in Turkey suggested that the medication works best for males with the disorder. Common side effects of colchicine include:
The doctor can decrease the dose to relieve these side effects.
Cyclosporine is sometimes used with azathioprine when one alone fails. Prednisone, along with an immunosuppressive drug, is also a common combination.
If these medications do not reduce the symptoms, doctors may use other drugs, such as methotrexate. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®), which is also used to treat various kinds of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, can relieve symptoms of Behcet's disease, because it suppresses the immune system and reduces inflammation throughout the body.
Although rest is important during flares, doctors usually recommend moderate exercise, such as swimming or walking, when the symptoms have improved or disappeared. Exercise can help people with Behcet's disease to keep their joints strong and flexible.