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What is the treatment for nephrotic syndrome?

Q: I am a 24-year-old female suffering from Nephrotic Syndrome, and I am getting treatment on this from the last one year. I am taking Cyclosporine, Omnocortil, etc. I have already taken two 50 ml bottles of Cyclosporine, but the doctor insists that I need to take one more bottle of the medicine. I had recovered following the doctor's advice, but the swelling of my feet has recurred. The doctor has asked me to continue with the medicines. Now, the protein leakage in my urine is in control and so is the swelling. But I want to know how long do I need to continue this medicine. Are there any side effects of this medicine? I am strictly avoiding salt for this, but do I need to take any other precautions. Is this disease completely curable?

A:It is important to understand that Nephrotic syndrome occurs due to the damage to the blood vessels of the kidneys (inflammation of the kidneys, called “Nephritis”), which in turn causes the kidneys to spill excessive protein into the urine. Protein leakage into the urine results in an excessive swelling of various body parts including the feet and face and in the long run, also interferes with the kidney’s filtering function. Hence, it is important to be treated with strong anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications like Omnocortil and Cyclosporine, respectively, to keep the damage or the inflammation under control. Most of the time, one has to take the mentioned medications at a low maintenance dose for a long time (depending upon the type of nephritis) even after the amount of protein leakage/ and the disease process has been brought under control. This is important to prevent a relapse of the disease in future. Also, since these medications have some serious side-effects, one should not abruptly discontinue them. Instead, one needs to follow the advice of the Nephrologist. Besides a low salt diet, it is important to maintain blood pressure < 130/80 mmHg and also avoid potential kidney toxic medications including the continuous intake of common pain medications like Voveran, Nimulid and Brufen.

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