• Reviewed on 12/2010
    By Dr. Fischer

Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD): Treatment

It is important to recognize that there is no cure for UCTD. Therefore, early recognition and treatment of the disease is essential. In addition, because it is a chronic disease, people often require medical therapy for many years.

Before any specific therapy can be recommended, it is essential to establish the nature and extent of any organ damage. There are many medication options for people with UCTD. Most people require anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medicines to control the inflammation and damage caused by the abnormal immune response. Some medications that can be effective in treating UCTD include prednisone, hydroxychloroquine, methotrexate and azathioprine. Each of these medicines has its own side effect and toxicity profile and may require periodic blood testing and clinical monitoring to ensure safety.

Many people with UCTD require treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or "heartburn"), rashes, Raynaud's, eye diseases, and heart and lung problems that are all part of the underlying disease.

In addition to medical therapy for UCTD, many people require physical therapy and rehabilitation. Under the guidance of rehabilitation therapists, people with UCTD learn how to appropriately rest, exercise, and strengthen the various muscle groups and joints affected by the disease.

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