Giant cell arteritis is the commonest form of medium-to-large vessel vasculitis, requiring long-term corticosteroid therapy. The short- and long-term side effects of corticosteroids are many, including weight gain, psychological effects, osteoporosis, cardiometabolic complications, and infections.

Materials and Methods:

Various agents used in place of or in combination with corticosteroids to reduce corticosteroid-related side effects were reviewed. However, considerable variation in practice was identified giving unclear guidance. This review included the most recent evidence on methotrexate, mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, abatacept, and tocilizumab

Results and Discussion:

Also discussed are encouraging results with tocilizumab in GCA patients. Amongst the agents available for steroid-sparing effects, tocilizumab demonstrated the most robust data and is consequently recommended as the agent of choice for steroid-sparing, for remission induction, remission maintenance, and treating relapsing and refractory cases of GCA.

Keyword: Corticosteroids, Tocilizumab, Giant cell arteritis, Vasculitis, Steroid-sparing, EULAR, Epidemiology.
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