Wegener Granulomatosis (cont.)
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Wegener's Granulomatosis Treatment
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Treatment with medication can bring long-term remission for most people. Remission means the disease disappears or its progression is slowed, but the disease is not cured.
Without medical treatment, a person diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis has a high risk of dying of the disease within two years, usually from lung (respiratory) or kidney (renal) failure.
Both types are treated with similar medications. Surgery may also be needed.
Because Wegener's granulomatosis affects so many different parts of the body, care may require a team of doctors who specialize in lung disease (pulmonologists), kidney disease (nephrologists), arthritis and similar conditions (rheumatologists), and ear, nose, and throat diseases (otolaryngologists).
The goal of treatment is to bring about remission, maintain remission, and treat the disease if it becomes active again (relapse).
Remission is likely in most people when treated with medications. Most respond to the drug cyclophosphamide, and a majority have complete remission.
In up to half of people who respond to a course of medications, the disease eventually becomes active again (relapse), and then therapy is begun again.
These are powerful medications and may cause toxic side effects. It is important to know what to expect during treatment and discuss all side effects with the doctor. With careful monitoring, side effects can be reduced.
Side effects of these drugs:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2015
Sat Sharma, MD, FRCPC, FCCP
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