Behcet's Syndrome - Effective Treatments

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What kinds of treatment, including medication, have you found effective for Behcet's syndrome?

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What is the treatment of Behçet's syndrome?

The treatment of Behçet's syndrome depends on the severity and the location of its manifestations in an individual patient.

Steroid (cortisone) gels, pastes (such as Kenolog in Orabase) and creams can be helpful for the mouth and genital ulcers. Colchicine (Colcrys) can also minimize recurrent ulcerations. Trental (pentoxifylline) has also been used in the treatment of oral and genital ulcers.

Joint inflammation can require nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen and others) or oral steroids. Colchicine and oral and injectable cortisone are used for inflammation involving the joints, eyes, skin, and brain. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) has been effective in some patients for arthritis. Bowel disease is treated with oral steroids and sulfasalazine.

Diligent treatment of eye inflammation is essential. Patients with eye symptoms or a history of eye inflammation should be monitored by an ophthalmologist. Resistant eye inflammation can often respond to new biologic medications that block a protein that plays a major role in initiating inflammation, called TNF. These TNF-blocking medications, including infliximab (Remicade) and adalimumab (Humira), can also be helpful for severe mouth ulcerations.

Severe disease of the arteries, eyes, and brain can be difficult to treat and require powerful medications that suppress the immune system called immunosuppressive agents. Immunosuppressive agents used for severe Behçet's syndrome include chlorambucil (Leukeran), azathioprine (Imuran), and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Cyclosporine has been used for resistant disease.

Studies suggest that thalidomide (Thalomid) may be of benefit for certain patients with Behçet's syndrome in treating and preventing ulcerations of the mouth and genitals. Side effects of thalidomide include promoting abnormal development of fetal growth, nerve injury (neuropathy), and hypersedation. Trials are currently underway evaluating interferon alpha for the treatment of eye disease in patients with Behçet's syndrome.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Bev, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 28

My sister has been diagnosed with Behcet's. She constantly needs blood transfusions and doctors have been unable to find bone marrow. She also has the other problems listed in these articles. She had to have part of her foot removed. She sees many doctors but has yet to find one who can help her. She is 60 years old and lives in constant pain.

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Comment from: Theresa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am now 52 and I first had symptoms of Behcet's syndrome in my late teens. I had mouth ulcers before that. One doctor told me to use 1 tablespoon Mylanta + 1/2 capsule powdered Benadryl. I had to mix them together and swish in mouth as needed and then spit out. This worked for me. I also had a doctor cauterize a large ulcer under my tongue and that worked too. Sometimes my genital area burns and I slather it with mayonnaise and that works too. Today I put a lot of Mylanta on the outside of my almost golf-ball sized lump near my groin.

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