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Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis Medication

  • Author: Sreepada TK Rao, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN  more...
Updated: Jun 06, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to preserve renal function, to reduce morbidity, and to prevent complications. Medications used include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), diuretics, and corticosteroids, with agents such as cyclophosphamide considered in steroid-resistant cases.



Class Summary

Current approach calls for initiating therapy with prednisone. In patients whose conditions are refractory to 2-3 mo of prednisone therapy, recommendations include reducing the steroid dose and adding cyclophosphamide. A prospective study indicated that 5-10 mg/kg/d of cyclosporine may be beneficial in patients unresponsive to prednisone and cyclophosphamide. Mycophenolate mofetil may be another alternative agent in patients with renal insufficiency in whom cyclosporine cannot be used. These powerful immunosuppressive agents need careful monitoring and are best used by specialists in the field.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Meticorten)


Immunosuppressant for treatment of autoimmune disorders. May decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity. Stabilizes lysosomal membranes and suppresses lymphocytes and antibody production.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar)


Chemically related to nitrogen mustards. As an alkylating agent, the mechanism of action of the active metabolites may involve cross-linking of DNA, which may interfere with growth of normal and neoplastic cells.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Sreepada TK Rao, MD, FACP Professor, Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

Sreepada TK Rao, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Hypertension, International Society of Nephrology, American Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN Professor of Medicine, Chief, Nephrology Division, Director, Nephrology Training Program, Director, Metabolic Stone Clinic, Kidney Disease Program, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Consulting Staff, Louisville Veterans Affairs Hospital

Eleanor Lederer, MD, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Society of Nephrology, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Federation for Medical Research, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation, Kentucky Medical Association, National Kidney Foundation, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from Dept of Veterans Affairs for research; Received salary from American Society of Nephrology for asn council position; Received salary from University of Louisville for employment; Received salary from University of Louisville Physicians for employment; Received contract payment from American Physician Institute for Advanced Professional Studies, LLC for independent contractor; Received contract payment from Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc for independent cont.

Chief Editor

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN Huberwald Professor of Medicine, Section of Nephrology-Hypertension, Tulane University School of Medicine; Chief, Renal Section, Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System

Vecihi Batuman, MD, FACP, FASN is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Society of Hypertension, American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Chike Magnus Nzerue, MD, FACP Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Meharry Medical College

Chike Magnus Nzerue, MD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Society of Nephrology, National Kidney Foundation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Anjana S Soman, MD Staff Physician, Department of Pathology, Quest Diagnostics

Anjana S Soman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Clinical Pathology and College of American Pathologists

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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