A typical starting dose of prednisolone is
40–60 mg/day for 4 weeks , but there are no prospective placebo-controlled trials to prove the effectiveness of steroids, chiefly because of the fear of irreversible ischaemic complications in untreated cases. A retrospective study comparing patients who received glucocorticoid with a retrospective pre-corticosteroid group showed that corticosteroids had a significant effect in preventing visual loss with a rapid onset of symptom control [median time to initial response was 8 days (range 1–44)]. Intravenous high-dose methylprednisolone is used commonly in ophthalmology units for patients with impending or recent visual LEE011 loss, based on a retrospective review of 73 cases presenting with visual loss. Of the 21 cases in which improvement in sight occurred, 40% selleck chemicals had received additional intravenous methylprednisolone compared to 13% in those treated with oral glucocorticoids alone . Maintenance. After 4 weeks prednisolone doses should be tapered, reducing every 2–4 weeks down to 10–15 mg/day.
Thereafter, tapering by 1 mg per month is typical, depending on recurrence of symptoms. The median time to relapse is 7 months, by which time the median dose of prednisolone is usually 5 mg/day. Treatment may be required for up to 9 years . Adverse effects reported on long-term steroid use include cataract, osteoporosis, infection, hypertension, type II diabetes mellitus and gastrointestinal bleeding . Aspirin is effective in preventing cerebrovascular and cardiovascular ischaemic events [81,82] and is
recommended for all Oxymatrine patients who have no contraindications to its use . A meta-analysis of three randomized placebo-controlled trials including 161 patients, 84 of whom received methotrexate up to 15 mg per week with steroids, and the rest of whom were treated with glucocorticoid alone, showed that methotrexate reduced the cumulative glucocorticoid dose significantly over 48 weeks and reduced the risk of first and second relapse. However, the adverse event risk was not influenced by the addition of methotrexate . Outcome measures such as visual loss were not reported. Azathioprine (150 mg/day) has been used as an adjunct to glucocorticoids in a placebo-controlled trial in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis. A significant reduction in the total glucocorticoid dose was achieved after 52 weeks (1·9 ± 0·84 mg versus 4·2 ± 0·58 mg), but clinical benefit was limited and of late onset . Infliximab has been used as maintenance therapy in a randomized controlled trial of 44 patients, but failed to improve disease control above the effect of steroid, or to allow a reduction in the dose of steroid required to prevent relapse . Induction.