Some people respond immediately to treatment and may be declining gradually over several months. Others, however, require prolonged treatment.
There is no way to prevent most cases of polyarteritis nodosa.
Get vaccinated against hepatitis B and avoid activities that increase the risk of hepatitis, such as sharing needles for intravenous drug use or unprotected sex.
If no signs of hepatitis and its symptoms are relatively mild, the doctor will usually begin treatment with a steroid medicine such as prednisone, a potent drug that suppresses the immune system and reduces inflammation. However, if more severe signs that affect the heart, nervous system and kidneys will combine prednisone with an immunosuppressive drug such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) or azathioprine (Imuran). The complete treatment usually lasts for at least a year.
If polyarteritis nodosa is associated with hepatitis B or hepatitis C, can be treated with prednisone to control arterial inflammation and antiviral drugs such as interferon (anti-hepatitis infection). Sometimes, after this treatment, plasmapheresis is performed. Plasmapheresis is a process in which the plasma is separated from the blood, they eliminate the abnormal antibodies and is then placed back into the blood.
When To Call a Professional
See your doctor if you develop any symptoms of polyarteritis nodosa, especially if you lead a life that increases the risk of getting hepatitis B or C, such as intravenous drug abuse. If you have chest pain, shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain or a combination of these symptoms, call or go to an emergency room of a hospital for evaluation.
With proper treatment, at least 80% of people survive at least five years or more after diagnosis and often recover completely. In one study, the risk of relapse after successful treatment was only about 10%, although damaged blood vessels can cause problems such as heart attack long after treating inflammation. Without
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