I was diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis almost 2 years ago and have not been able to take less than 8 mg. of prednisone without severe headaches returning. My doctor has suggested trying Cellcept in conjunction with the prednisone and then eventually decreasing the prednisone until I no longer take it at all. After reading the side effects of Cellcept, I am very apprehensive about starting such a potent drug. What experience does your center have using this new drug?
I don’t know of any published clinical trials, or even case reports, of Cellcept in giant cell arteritis. Typically, either methotrexate or azathioprine are used as steroid sparing agents, although data are incosistent as to whether these agents are truly effective. Corticosteroids, like prednisone, remain the first line agent for therapy in giant cell arteritis.