Autoimmune disorders

Lupus

(Systemic lupus erythematosus)

  • Also known as
  • Discoid lupus

About Lupus

If you have lupus, your immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. This can damage your joints, skin, blood vessels and organs. There are many kinds of lupus. The most common type, systemic lupus erythematosus, affects many parts of the body. Discoid lupus causes a rash that doesn't go away. Subacute cutaneous lupus causes sores after being out in the sun. Another type can be caused by medication. Neonatal lupus, which is rare, affects newborns.

Anyone can get lupus, but women are most at risk. Lupus is also more common in African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women. The cause of lupus is not known.

Lupus has many symptoms. Some common ones are

  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever with no known cause
  • Fatigue
  • Red rashes, often on the face (also called the "butterfly rash")

There is no one test to diagnose lupus, and it may take months or years to make the diagnosis. There is no cure for lupus, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help control it.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Lupus
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever with no known cause
  • Red rashes, often on the face (called a "butterfly rash")

Top Medications for Lupus according to our users

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All Medications for Lupus

  • Aspirin
    Over-the-counter

    A low dose of Aspirin (81mg) every day can protect your heart, but it's not the best medicine to take for pain, swelling, or fever.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Cortef
    (hydrocortisone)
    Prescription only

    Cortef (Hydrocortisone) is identical to an essential hormone that humans produce and has been proven to work safely.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Liquid
    • Suppository
  • Medrol
    (methylprednisolone)
    Prescription only

    Medrol (methylprednisolone) is very effective for controlling allergic reactions and many types of inflammatory conditions, but it is associated with serious and potentially life-threatening side effects if you have to take it for a long time.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Injection
  • Plaquenil
    (hydroxychloroquine)
    Prescription only

    Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) is an effective medication for autoimmune conditions and malaria that comes with less side effects than other DMARDs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • methotrexate
    Prescription only

    Otrexup (methotrexate) is the first-choice treatment for many types of cancer and arthritis, but it has many side effects.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Injection
    • Liquid
  • Naproxen
    Prescription or OTC

    Aleve (Naproxen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, and it lasts longer than other NSAIDs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Delayed release tablet
    • Liquid
  • Rituxan
    (rituximab)
    Prescription only

    Rituxan (Rituximab) is effective for treating multiple types of cancer and arthritis. That said, you'll need to watch for possibly serious side effects, especially infusion reactions.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Infusion (iv)

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Lupus

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Work with your doctor to understand the causes of your symptoms so you can give yourself the care you need
  • Don't panic!! Read, read and read more about lupus, ask questions,
  • Don't ignore your body. Ask for help even if you don't want to.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Trying to excerise, praying
  • Spending time in the garden
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Avoid sun exposure, stress
  • Sleep, moderate exercise, avoiding sugar and refined carbs
  • Stretching, massages, avoiding stress
  • Avoiding stress, swimming, always wake up and smile, even when you hurt so bad you need to smile
  • Meditation, swimming