Additional Info on Medicines for Wegener's
During the course of treating Wegener's granulomatosis, doctors often give their patients other medicines to prevent medicine-related side effects. These include:
- Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (also called Bactrim® or Septra®) is given three times a week to prevent Pneumocystis carinii infection (a lung infection)
- A medicine regimen is often given to prevent prednisone-related bone loss (osteoporosis)
- Folic acid or folinic acid (also called leucovorin) is often given to people taking methotrexate.
With the appropriate Wegener's medication, the outlook is good for people with Wegener's granulomatosis. In a study of 158 patients who were treated with prednisone and cyclophosphamide at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 91 percent of them markedly improved. After 6 months to 24 years of follow-up, 80 percent of the patients survived.
Approximately half of the people with Wegener's granulomatosis may experience a return of their disease. This occurs most frequently within two years of stopping their Wegener's medication, but can occur at any point, either during treatment or after stopping treatment. Thus, it is extremely important that people with Wegener's granulomatosis continue to see their doctors regularly, both while they are on these medicines and after the Wegener's medications have been stopped.