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Behcet’s Syndrome - Treatments

​There is currently no cure for Behcet’s disease. Treatment strategies focus on controlling inflammation, alleviating the specific symptoms experienced by the patient and preventing serious complications. In mild cases, treatment is only necessary during acute flares and no treatment is necessary in between flares. In severe cases, medication may be necessary over a period of time. Treatment usually includes one or more of the following:

  • Topical creams, gels and ointments
    These are usually applied on the skin rashes or mouth / genital ulcers. They usually contain steroid that reduces the inflammation and an anesthetic drug that relieves pain.
  • Mouth rinses
    These reduce the inflammation in the mouth and ease the pain and discomfort.
  • Eye drops
    Eye drops containing steroids or other anti-inflammatory medications can relieve pain and redness in the eyes.
  • NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors
    These oral drugs reduce pain and swelling of the joints, and are particularly useful in arthritis. However, long-term use can cause kidney damage, gastric discomfort and even bleeding especially in patients with a previous history of stomach ulcers. These drugs should also be used with care in patients who have heart disease, hypertension or a history of stroke.
  • Colchicine, oral steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs
    Colchicine is usually prescribed for arthritis and the prevention of recurrent oral or genital ulcers or other skin manifestations. Medication such as prednisolone is often used successfully in patients with moderate or severe Behcet’s Syndrome. It reduces pain and inflammation. Often steroids are used in combination with other immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, azathioprine, mycophenolate or cyclosporine. Since these medications suppress the immune system, there is a risk of infection. Other drugs that have been used to treat Behcet’s Syndrome include interferon-alpha, biologic agents (e.g. adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab) and apremilast.
  • Rest and exercise
    Sufficient rest is important when a patient is suffering from a flare. During the period of remission, doctors may recommend a regimen of moderate exercise such as swimming or walking, to help keep the joints strong and flexible.

Behcet’s Syndrome - Other Information