Treatment of Behcet's Disease is symptomatic, typically focusing on reducing discomfort and preventing serious complications. Although Behcet's is a chronic disease, patients may have periods of time when symptoms disappear temporarily (remission). The severity of the disease varies from one patient to another. Some patients may experience milder symptoms, while others may develop complications affecting various organ systems. It is important to treat the manifestations of the disease accordingly.
Behcet’s Disease affects different parts of the body, therefore, it is likely patients will have different doctors. It will be helpful to have a primary care physician in order to coordinate treatment and monitor care. Communication among various physicians is important in regards to clinical symptoms and treatment options.
Rheumatologists (doctors specializing in arthritis and other autoimmune and inflammatory disorders) often manage the treatment of Behcet's Disease. Other doctors involved in coordinated care may include:
Patients can control symptoms of Behcet's Disease with proper medication, rest, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. The goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort and prevent serious complications. It is likely that a combination of medicines will be used in the treatment of Behcet's Disease, depending on symptoms. Patients must provide their doctors with a list of all medications they are currently taking.
Drugs Used in the Treatment of Behcet's Disease
In the United States, there is no FDA approved treatment for Behcet's Disease. Treatment is aimed at reducing discomfort, and may include:
Topical medication is applied directly to the ulcers and skin lesions in order to relieve pain and discomfort. Rinses, gels or oils may be prescribed. Creams are used to treat skin and genital lesions. The medication may contain corticosteroids, other anti-inflammatory drugs, or an anesthetic to relieve pain. Topical glucocorticoids used to treat symptoms of Behcet's Disease may include:
TNF inhibitors (anti tumor necrosis factor drugs) are a class of drugs used in the United States for more than 15 years and used worldwide to treat inflammatory conditions. These biologic agents have the capacity to reduce inflammation and slow disease progression by targeting TNF, an inflammation causing substance. TNF inhibitors are used in many diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In the United States, five anti-TNF biologic drugs have been approved:
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