Which medications in the drug class Antineoplastics, Other are used in the treatment of Takayasu Arteritis?

Updated: Nov 14, 2018
  • Author: Jefferson R Roberts, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Antineoplastics, Other

Cyclophosphamide or methotrexate—either in combination with prednisone or alone—can be used to suppress active disease in patients who are not responding to prednisone.


Cyclophosphamide may be added to steroid therapy if the patient has shown minimal response to steroid treatment or has been on a steroid for a prolonged period of time. Cyclophosphamide is chemically related to nitrogen mustards. As an alkylating agent, the mechanism of action of the active metabolites may involve cross-linking of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which may interfere with the growth of normal and neoplastic cells.

Methotrexate (Trexall, Rheumatrex)

Methotrexate may be added to treatment if steroid therapy has not been effective or if the patient has been on steroid treatment for a prolonged period of time. Methotrexate has an unknown mechanism of action in the treatment of inflammatory reactions; the drug may affect immune function. Methotrexate ameliorates symptoms of inflammation (eg, pain, swelling, stiffness). Adjust the dose gradually to attain a satisfactory response.

Effects can be observed as early as 3-6 weeks following methotrexate's administration. Methotrexate is used as second- or third-line drug to suppress active disease.

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