Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Henoch-Schonlein purpura usually improves on its own within a few weeks — usually no more than eight weeks — with no lasting ill effects. Treatment is usually aimed at relieving discomfort and preventing complications. Most often, this means:
- Bed rest
- Plenty of fluids
- Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
Be sure to take your child for follow-up urine tests for as long as your doctor recommends. This helps alert your doctor to any serious kidney complications.
In certain circumstances, children and young adults with Henoch-Schonlein purpura may require hospitalization. This is likely if they have:
- Trouble staying well hydrated
- Severe abdominal pain or gastrointestinal bleeding
- Joint symptoms that make movement difficult
- Extensive ulceration of the skin
- Serious kidney problems, which may be treated with immunosuppressive drugs
The use of powerful corticosteroids in treating or preventing complications of Henoch-Schonlein purpura is controversial. It's most often used to treat severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Because these drugs can have serious side effects and their usefulness isn't clear, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pediatrician.
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- Henoch-Schonlein purpura. Vasculitis Foundation. http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/HenochSchonleinpurpura. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Henoch-Schonlein Purpura. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/HSP. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.
- Niaudet P, et al. Renal manifestations of Henoch-Schonlein purpura. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 7, 2010.