Diffuse Proliferative Glomerulonephritis Medication

Updated: Mar 09, 2023
  • Author: Moro O Salifu, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Medication Summary

Corticosteroids and cytotoxic therapy can induce remission. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatory agents and immunosuppressants. These drugs suppress cellular and humoral response to tissue injury, thereby reducing inflammation. Oral prednisone generally is required for maintenance therapy. Cytotoxic drugs induce alkylation of DNA.



Class Summary

These agents have anti-inflammatory (glucocorticoid) and salt-retaining (mineralocorticoid) properties. Glucocorticoids have profound and varied metabolic effects. In addition, these agents modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone, Meticorten, Sterapred)

Most patients require long-term oral prednisone after inducing remission. Immunosuppressants for treatment of autoimmune disorders may decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity.

Methylprednisolone (Solu-Medrol)

For pulse therapy. Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reversing increased capillary permeability.



Class Summary

Inhibit cell growth and proliferation.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

DOC in DPGN. 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.

Low dose is used when creatinine clearance is < 33 mL/min.

Maintain white blood cell count >2000/mL.

A dose of 50-100 mg/m2 PO qd is associated with a higher incidence of hemorrhagic cystitis.

Mycophenolate (CellCept, Myfortic)

Inhibits inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) and suppresses de novo purine synthesis by lymphocytes, thereby inhibiting their proliferation. Inhibits antibody production.

Two formulations are available and are not interchangeable. The original formulation, mycophenolate mofetil (MMF, Cellcept) is a prodrug that once hydrolyzed in vivo, releases the active moiety mycophenolic acid. A newer formulation, mycophenolic acid (MPA, Myfortic) is an enteric-coated product that delivers the active moiety.



Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)

Used for maintenace therapy after initial induction of remission in ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis


Antineoplastics, Anti-CD20 Monoclonal Antibodies

Rituximab (Rituxan, Riabni, Rituximab-abbs)

Shown in clinical trials to be as effective as cyclophosphamide and more effective for relapsing disease