The goal of treatment for hypereosinophilic syndrome is to
reduce the numbers of eosinophils in your body and prevent tissue
damage, especially to your heart. Your treatment depends on your
symptoms, the severity of your condition and the cause of your
- Watchful waiting. If you have no symptoms
and your eosinophil count is low enough, your doctor may opt for
a "wait and see" approach. Your condition will then be
closely monitored for any changes related to HES.
- Prednisone. Generally, if you don't have
the FIP1L1-PDGFRA gene mutation, you'll initially be treated
with prednisone, a corticosteroid, which is gradually tapered to
the lowest dose that controls the eosinophil count. If a high
dose of prednisone is needed, other medications are added to
control hypereosinophilic syndrome and to avoid the side effects
of high-dose prednisone. Prednisone side effects include
psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and increased
susceptibility to infection.
- Protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. If you
have the FIP1L1-PDGFRA gene mutation, you have, by definition,
chronic eosinophilic leukemia. You'll need treatment with
imatinib mesylate (Gleevec), a type of drug known as a
protein-tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Imatinib mesylate slows the
growth of cancer cells and is almost 100 percent effective,
especially for men.