Lupus –Treatment, Precautions & Prevention

Most patients with Lupus are able to live a normal life with medications. However one should take these medications for prolonged period of time and must consult rheumatologist on a regular basis. Some of the medications one may be offered are:

Non-Steroidal (NSAID)

They are required for the control of joint and muscular pain. One should avoid self-medications as these drugs can potentially damage kidneys, livers and may cause peptic ulcers.

Anti- Malarial

Patients with shin and joint complaints get benefit with this class of medicine. This drug alone may be the only drug prescribed to the patients suffering from lupus. Hydroxychloroquine has steroid sparing action and some authorities believe that this should be prescribed to all lupus sufferers except in those who have toxic effects. Very rarely it may cause retinal damage.

Precaution and Prevention of Lupus

Steroids

It can be life saving medicine for some. They have an immediate effect on inflammation. Dosage of steroids should be reduced to prevent side effects. Some common side effects are weight gains, muscle weakness, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Immunosuppressant

Commonly used medications are Azathioprine, Methotrexate,Mycophenolate,Leflunomide and rarely Cyclophosphamide. These drugs require close monitoring and supervision

Other Drugs

Vitamin D, Calcium, B12, Folic Acid and Aspirin may be prescribed in deserving patients.

New Agents

Rituximab and Benlysta can be very helpful for some patients

Precaution and Prevention

  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight and cover your exposed areas with sun screen lotions.
  • Perform regular exercises, drink adequate amount of water and consume fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular replacement of Vitamin D & Vitamin B 12.
  • Avoid exposure to cold as it will prevent finger & toes turning blue (Raynaud’s)
  • Avoid stress and anxiety
  • Lupus suffers and has been prescribed let your doctor if you are some medications like oral contraceptive pills and isoniazid prescribed for TB as there may cause “drug induced lupus”