Kawasaki Disease - Treatments

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What is the treatment for Kawasaki's disease?

Children affected by Kawasaki's disease are hospitalized. Kawasaki's disease is treated with high doses of aspirin (salicylic acid) to reduce inflammation and to mildly thin the blood to prevent blood clot formation. Also used in treatment is gammaglobulin administered through the vein (intravenous immunoglobulin or IVIG), together with fluids. This treatment has been shown to decrease the chance of developing aneurysms in the coronary arteries. Sometimes cortisone medications are given. Persisting joint pains are treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).

Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) has been reported as effective in patients who were not responding to aspirin and gammaglobulin. Plasmapheresis is a procedure whereby the patient's plasma is removed from the blood and replaced with protein-containing fluids. By taking out portions of the patient's plasma, the procedure also removes antibodies and proteins that are felt to be part of the immune reaction that is causing the inflammation of the disease. Kawasaki's disease that is not responding to the traditional aspirin and gammaglobulin treatments can be deadly. Medications that block the effects of TNF (tumor necrosis factor), one of the messenger molecules in the inflammatory response, are being studied for use in these situations. Examples of TNF-blocking drugs are infliximab (Remicade) and etanercept (Enbrel). Further research is needed to design treatment programs for those who are failing conventional treatments. Pentoxifylline (Trental) is also being studied as a possible treatment for Kawasaki's disease.

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Comment from: honeycakesmom, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 16

My 5 year old daughter has recently been diagnosed with Kawasaki's Disease. She had a first dose of IVIG and went well...for three days....then the fever returned. Immediately, the doctors said we needed a second dose of IVIG and "it can't hurt her," however, of the small percentage that there would be a reaction...she had one. When the antibodies from the IVIG entered her body they began attacking the "bad" stuff causing the Kawasaki's but it also began attacking and destroying her red blood cells. Her hemoglobin count dropped from a 10.4 to a 4. That started a whole new serious situation. She had to have a blood transfusion and remained in the hospital for another week. She is home now, but slowly recovering. The IVIG seemed to somewhat work, but the "reaction" to the second dose is causing a lot of other issues.

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Comment from: sanchezbuick, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 16

My daughter is 20 years old now, she got kawasaki at 6months old. She was given aspirin after a week out of children's hospital. The medicine helped the swelling go down but she still has to go to the doctor for the rest of her life. She has the Arrhythmias symptoms so the Aspirin worked for her but didn't get rid of it. Lately for the past years she is doing great and very active. So now she only goes to see her doctor once every year and a half. It's just one of those things that happens to people, but I'm hopeful for my daughter and I'm very protective with her even though she is 20 years old now, she understands her condition and she's very careful. I wish all the children in the world that has kawasaki love and hope, and be strong for all the parents out there.

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