Treatment of Systemic
When you are diagnosed with lupus, your doctor
will work on a treatment plan for you based on
your symptoms, age, gender, etc. Since there is no cure for lupus,
your doctor will only be able to treat and minimize your symptoms.
As you get older, the plan may change. There are several goals
in developing a treatment plan. Ideally your doctor will want
to prevent flares from happening at all. If flares do happen,
your doctor will want to do his or her best to minimize any damage
or complications that come from the flares. If you treatment plan
is not working, you may need to go over it again with your doctor
and see if any changes are needed.
There are three categories of drugs
to treat lupus:
Corticosteroids counter inflammation
but can have long-term side effects, such as increased risk of
infection, easy bruising, thinning bones, weight gain, high blood
pressure, and diabetes. The higher your dose and the longer you
are on the medication, the greater the chance of side effects.
Your doctor will probably prescribe a low dose, or have you take
the drug on alternating days.
Antimalarial drugs help treat
lupus symptoms and signs. There is no known relationship between
malaria and lupus, but these medications help prevent flares of
the disease. Side effects include muscle weakness and vision problems.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAID). Some symptoms can be treated with aspirin or other NSAIDs
such as Aleve and ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) Stong NSAIDs are
prescribed by your doctor, and others are available over the counter,
but even though you can buy them easily, you should check with
your doctor before taking them because some have caused serious
side effects for lupus patients. Stomach bleeding and heart problems
are possible side effects.