Lupus Treatment

In today's world, there are more choices to prevent and to help manage lupus effectively. Lupus treatment is possible with a wide range and effectiveness of treatment methodologies in recent decades. Some of the current treatments and medications include:

 

Antimalarials

Antimalarial drugs which are most useful drugs to help prevent malaria are also effective for lupus. One such drug is hydroxychloroquine that is a common antimalarial for lupus, that can be used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat lung inflammation, fatigue, skin rashes and joint pain. Some clinical studies have suggested the regular use of antimalarials may prevent flares from recurring.

 

NSAIDs

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is one effective way to treat inflammation, and are effective for people with fever and swelling, joint or chest pain. Drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, are readily available over the counter with a doctor’s prescription. The drugs can be used along with other types of drugs under a doctor’s supervision.

 

Corticosteroids

A natural anti-inflammatory drug, Corticosteroids can effectively suppress inflammation. But the drug corticosteroids have side effects and require the supervision of a medical representative. It is recommended to take the lowest dose to achieve the desired benefit or use them in combination with less potent drugs.

 

BLyS-specific inhibitors

The drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can be taken in self-injectable (subcutaneous) formulation. The US FDA discovered the drug to be effective for people with systemic lupus erythematosus. The patients can administer the drug injection to themselves once in a week. The drug is proved to reduce the abnormality of B cells, a lupus initiator.

 

Immunosuppressives

Immunosuppressive therapy is recommended by doctors when kidney or nervous system is affected by lupus, that restrains the overactive immune system by blocking the production of immune cells. Even though the drug is effective, the side effects increase with the length of treatment.

 

Diagnosis

There is not a specific test as such that can determine if a person has lupus but different laboratory tests may help the doctor to confirm a diagnosis, and rule out other ailments. These tests mostly focus on certain autoantibodies present in the blood of lupus patients. Doctors even ask for a skin or kidney biopsy in case these organs are affected. Mostly, the doctors usually take a good look at the medical history, symptoms and the laboratory test results to completely understand and declare it as lupus.  Sometimes other laboratory tests are even required to check the progress of the disease once it has been diagnosed.

 

Eleven Criteria for Lupus

Doctors ask lupus to be diagnosed if four out of these eleven criteria of lupus is present.

 

Photosensitivity: This occurs as a result of a strong reaction to sunlight, that causes a rash or flare on the skin.

Malar rash: A butterfly-shaped rash that may occur across the cheeks or in the nose.

Skin rash – Some red patches with severe pain 

Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) – Bloating and Severe stomach ulcers

Nonerosive arthritis – Joint inflammation in tow or more joints

Mouth or nose ulcers – They are known as silent ulcers as they don't cause pain.

Kidney disorder – Increased protein with an increase in red cells in urine or the urgency to urinate 

Cardio-pulmonary involvement – Heart lining and/or lungs inflammation 

Neurologic disorder – seizures and/or psychosis

Immunological disorder – Healthy cells are attacked by the immune system

Blood disorder – This causes anemia as a result of low white cells or low platelet count and damaged red cells.