Treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation. Your doctor might suggest taking over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), or large doses of aspirin. You may have to take them for 4 to 6 weeks. Colchicine (Colcrys), an anti-inflammatory medication, may also be prescribed.
If the OTC anti-inflammatory drugs don’t improve your symptoms, your doctor might prescribe corticosteroids, which suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Because of their side effects, corticosteroids are usually a last resort.
If you develop any complications of Dressler syndrome, more aggressive treatments may be needed:
- Pleural effusion is treated by draining the fluid from the lungs with a needle. The procedure is called a thoracentesis.
- Cardiac tamponade is treated with a procedure called pericardiocentesis. During this procedure, a needle or catheter is used to remove excess fluid.
- Constrictive pericarditis may be treated with surgery to remove the pericardium (pericardiectomy).