How It's Treated
There is no cure for EGPA, but treatment can help ease symptoms, preventing complications and relapse. Working with a healthcare provider who has experience treating EGPA can help you find the treatment that is most effective for you. The goal of treatment is remission, meaning that the condition is no longer causing any complications. Specialists will use medications to turn down your immune system’s activity.
Several different medications can be prescribed to treat EGPA. These include:
- Corticosteroids, or prednisone, which turn down the immune system’s activity to reduce inflammation. Prednisone can have some serious side effects if taken long term, so you may be treated for a while and then tapered off as your symptoms improve.
- Methotrexate, a medication that is used with, or sometimes instead of, prednisone to suppress the immune system. Originally developed as a cancer treatment, it has been shown to reduce inflammation in adults living with EGPA.
- Mepolizumab, a medication that treats severe eosinophilic asthma by reducing the number of eosinophils in the body. In 2017 it became the first FDA-approved treatment of EGPA.
- Benralizumab, a medication that also treats severe eosinophilic asthma by reducing the number of eosinophils in the body.
Starting a new medication may come with new side effects. It is important to report any new symptoms or changes to your health with your doctor. Even if you achieve remission and have no symptoms, your doctor will want you to return for regular follow-up appointments to monitor your chronic condition.
Good health practices, such as getting adequate nutrition, regular sleep, exercising to help control your weight, getting a flu shot every year and protecting yourself from environmental dusts or workplace exposure to toxic substances are also important. Since almost everyone with EGPA also has lung involvement, it is essential that you refrain from tobacco use and avoid secondhand smoke. If you are a smoker, the American Lung Association has resources to help you quit for good.
Control Asthma Symptoms
One thing nearly all individuals living with EGPA have in common is an asthma diagnosis. It is important part of for treatment of EGPA that you maintain control of your asthma symptoms. The American Lung Association has resources available to help you.
Managing the Disease
Managing EGPA includes monitoring your symptoms closely to track the effectiveness of treatment. Medical treatment can be used to control symptoms, prevent complications and improve outcomes. If you have EGPA, your healthcare provider will carefully monitor you to see if your EGPA is getting better or worse and adapt your treatment depending on how your body is doing.
If your EGPA goes into remission, meaning you no longer have any symptoms, your doctor may choose to reduce or stop your medications.
An important part of managing your disease will be finding emotional support. Many people being treated for EGPA feel anxious because symptoms interfere with their daily routine. Depression and anxiety are common. Tell your doctor if you have these feelings as treatment for anxiety and depression may make your EGPA treatment more effective. It can also be helpful to find a community or support group of others living with chronic disease.
The Lung Association recommends patients and caregivers join our Living with Lung Disease Support Community and Living with Asthma Support Community to connect with others facing this disease. You can also call the Lung Association’s Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a trained respiratory professional who can help answer your questions and connect you with support.
Ask your healthcare provider about lung disease support groups in your area, or look online for a Better Breathers Club near you.
For More Information
The Vasculitis Foundation has information available to help support patients newly diagnosed with EGPA.
Page last updated: July 30, 2020