Hepatitis Home > Autoimmune Hepatitis Treatment

Treatment for autoimmune hepatitis consists primarily of using medicine to suppress a person's overactive immune system. Prednisone and azathioprine are among the drugs that may be used to treat autoimmune hepatitis. In more severe cases of autoimmune hepatitis, treatment options may include immunosuppressive agents such as mycophenolate mofetil, cyclosporine, and tacrolimus.

Treatment for Autoimmune Hepatitis: An Overview

Autoimmune hepatitis treatment works best when the disease is diagnosed early. With proper treatment, autoimmune hepatitis can usually be controlled. In fact, recent studies show that sustained response to autoimmune hepatitis treatment not only stops the disease from getting worse, but may also actually reverse some of the damage it causes.
 

Medications Used for Autoimmune Hepatitis Treatment

The primary treatment for autoimmune hepatitis is medicine to suppress (or slow down) an overactive immune system.
 
All three types of autoimmune hepatitis (see Autoimmune Hepatitis Types) are treated with daily doses of a corticosteroid called prednisone. Your doctor may start you on a high dose (20 mg to 60 mg per day) and lower the dose to 5 mg to 15 mg per day as the disease is controlled. The goal is to find the lowest possible dose that will control the disease.
 
Azathioprine (Imuran®) is another medicine used to treat autoimmune hepatitis. Like prednisone, azathioprine suppresses the immune system, but in a different way. It helps lower the dose of prednisone needed, thereby reducing its side effects. Your doctor may prescribe azathioprine in addition to prednisone, once your disease is under control.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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