Long Term Effects of Immunosuppressive Therapy vs Alternative Treatment
Immunosuppressive therapy is commonly prescribed to treat long-term conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and lupus. While these drugs help control inflammation, their side effects may pose risks to your overall wellbeing.
Some medications suppress the immune system non-selectively, increasing your vulnerability to infection and other serious health complications. Therefore, people on immunosuppressive therapy need to be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of infections like fever or chills.
Many of these treatments also suppress your bone marrow, making it harder for you to generate blood cells. This can have detrimental effects on both your overall health and increase the likelihood of developing certain types of cancer.
No matter what medication your doctor prescribes for you, there may be other side effects to watch out for. Some of these include stomach upset, nausea and itching. To monitor these levels of medicine in your bloodstream, take regular blood tests.
You cannot receive live vaccines if you’re taking an immunosuppressive drug, as the medication will reduce your immunity and raise the likelihood that the vaccine could make you ill.
Studies have identified several alternative treatments that have been proven effective at lessening the long-term negative effects of immunosuppressive drugs. These alternatives can be combined with your existing immunosuppressive medication and may help minimize your risk for infection while keeping remission from your disease in effect.
Some of your options may include taking oral antibiotics. Oral antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections and may be successful in helping you to eliminate symptoms associated with your condition.
Another alternative is taking a steroid-based anti-rejection medication. This kind of drug targets T cells, the lymphocytes that control your immune response. However, the side effects are similar to those experienced with immunosuppressive drugs and may include swelling and slowed healing time.
These medications may be beneficial in treating autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, they have the potential to address other autoimmune issues like chronic urticaria (hives) or myasthenia gravis.
Some medications can also be prescribed to help prevent rejection of transplanted organs and tissues. These may be given after surgery to those who have received a kidney or liver transplant.
Other immunosuppressive medicines can be given to help control inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis, though these should not be taken on a long-term basis due to potential side effects like weakening of bones.
Immunosuppressive drugs have the potential for life-saving benefits, such as helping people stay in remission from their condition for extended periods. Furthermore, these medications help patients fight off diseases like tuberculosis and improve their quality of life overall.
Maintaining good health while taking an immunosuppressive medication requires working with a healthcare team with extensive experience treating those on these therapies. At Devonshire Clinic in Harley Street clinic in London, we offer specialist skin care consultations for those on immunosuppressive therapy as well as providing medical support services to several NHS hospitals throughout London.