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Temporal Arteritis: Treatment

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This information was reviewed and approved by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (4/1/2009).

The preferred method of treatment for temporal arteritis is corticosteroid medication, usually prednisone. If not treated promptly, the condition carries a small but definite risk of blindness, so prednisone should be started as soon as possible.

The symptoms of temporal arteritis rapidly disappear with proper treatment; however, high doses of medication are typically maintained for 1 month.

It is possible that an increase in symptoms may develop when the dose of medicine is decreased. Your doctor may need to hold the lower dose for a longer period of time or even modestly increase it again, temporarily, to control the symptoms. Once the symptoms are in remission and the prednisone has been discontinued for several months, recurrence is less common.

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