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

Button Group. All currently active
  • All men

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
  • Aspirin
    77%
  • All women

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
  • Aspirin
    72%

All Medications for Lupus

  • Pain reliever > Salicylate

  • Pain reliever > Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

    • Indocin
      (Indomethacin)
      Prescription only

      Indocin (Indomethacin) works well for mild to moderate pain and swelling, but it shouldn't be used long-term since it has some serious side effects.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
      • Extended release
      • Liquid
      • Suppository
    • 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
  • Anticoagulant > Anti-platelet

  • Immunosuppressant > Immunomodulator

    • Plaquenil
      (Hydroxychloroquine)
      Prescription only

      Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) is a great medication for rheumatoid arthritis and comes with less side effects than other DMARDs.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
    • 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.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Infusion (IV)
  • Antirheumatic > Biological response modifier

    • Plaquenil
      (Hydroxychloroquine)
      Prescription only

      Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) is a great medication for rheumatoid arthritis and comes with less side effects than other DMARDs.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Pill
    • 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.

      Was it worth it?
      • Available dosage forms:
      • Infusion (IV)

Antimalarial

  • Anticancer > Biological response modifier

    • 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.

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