Dr. Jennifer Thorne says the steroid prednisone is a common treatment for inflammatory eye disease. But, it raises the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Now, cellcept, a drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection can treat eye inflammation and get patients on lower doses of, or even off, prednisone.
A new study shows 96 percent of patients had no inflammation after one month on cellcept. Eighty-percent produced their prednisone to a safer dose. And of those, 50 percent went off prednisone altogether.
Cellcept can help most inflammatory eye disease including scleritis and uveitis which are the most common ones. Cellcept is FDA approved for organ transplant rejection but many ophthalmologists are using it off label to treat inflammatory eye diseases.