Currently, there is no cure for lupus. However, early diagnosis and proper medical treatment can significantly help to control the disease. Symptoms often vary from one individual to another and treatment is based on specific indications in each person. Still, a few general guidelines can be listed:
• Regular rest is important when the disease is active. When the disease is in remission, increased physical activity is encouraged to increase joint flexibility and muscle strength
• For the individual who is photosensitive, the regular use of sunscreens will help prevent rashes and irritations. For those who still develop rashes, treatment with cortisone creams is very helpful
• Achy joints and arthritis generally respond to aspirin or aspirin-like drugs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
• The anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is often prescribed for more severe joint or skin involvement
• Cortisone drugs (the most commonly prescribed is prednisone) are often used independently or in conjunction with Plaquenil. Not everyone with SLE needs cortisone
• For more severe lupus, or when internal organs are affected, stronger prescription drugs are prescribed to quiet the immune system and protect organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs from further attacks.
First New Treatment in 50 Years
2011 saw the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) historic approval of BENLYSTA® (belimumab) for systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), launching the first safe and effective treatment for lupus in more than half a century. BENLYSTA contains belimumab which is in a group of medicines called monoclonal antibodies. Lupus is a disease of the immune system (the body system that fights infection). People with active lupus often have high levels of a certain protein in their blood. BENLYSTA binds to and limits the activity of the protein. When given together with other medicines for lupus, BENLYSTA decreases lupus disease activity more than other lupus medicines alone.
Developed by Human Genome Sciences, BENLYSTA stems from the scientific discovery of a new immune system molecule, BLyS, which revealed a critical new pathway that can be manipulated to treat lupus. BENLYSTA is founded on novel, fundamental science from industry and academia that explores a range of disease pathways and mechanisms, much like the studies that the LRI has been supporting for a decade.
• If you have a fever (over 100 degrees F), call your doctor
• Go to your doctor for regular checkups. Regular checkups usually include blood and urine tests
• When in doubt, ask your doctor
The Hunt Continues for New Lupus Medicines
LRI researchers are intensively looking for new alternatives to the medicines that people with lupus now take. Learn more
Innovative research in human tissue may also drive discovery of new therapies. Learn more
Drug development in lupus is heating up, and many experts see cause for hope. Learn more
Every person with lupus who signs up for a clinical trial moves science one step closer to new treatments, and, eventually a cure. Learn more Updated: July 2013
Source: S.L.E. Lupus Foundation
Updated: July 2013