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Lupus treatment

How is lupus treated?
Treatment of lupus depends on the symptoms & the organs involved due to lupus.
The various medications used are-
NSAIDs- these are commonly used for various symptoms, especially for the joint pain
Chloroquine- This is useful in joint pain as well as the skin lesions associated with lupus. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is preferred over Chloroquine. Steroids- One of the most important medication for controlling the inflammation associated with lupus. The dose depends on the severity of lupus & the organs involved. They do have multiple side effects (including osteoporosis, diabetes, increased chance of infections) in the long run. The risk of side effects depends on the dose & duration of therapy. Hence, your Rheumatologist will try & prescribe the lowest dose possible to control the lupus inflammation. Regular calcium & vitamin D supplements help reduce the chances of osteoporosis due to steroids.
Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan/ Endoxan) : One of the most potent medication used for lupus nephritis.
Azathioprine (Imuran/ Azoran): Used for lupus nephritis & other severe manifestations of lupus. Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept): Used for lupus nephritis.
Rituximab (Rituxan/ Mabthera/ Reditux): A newer agent belonging to the biologics/ monoclonal antibody group is used in severe lupus.

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Created on: April 2007
Last updated on: Feb 2015
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