Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to various organs in the body. It affects more than five million people worldwide, with 90% of cases being women between the ages of 15 and 45. Although there’s no cure for lupus, medications can help manage its symptoms.
Here are some meds commonly prescribed to treat lupus:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can relieve pain, reduce fever, and ease inflammation. They’re available over-the-counter (OTC) or as prescription drugs.
Because NSAIDs can cause side effects like stomach ulcers, bleeding problems, and kidney damage when used long-term or at high doses; doctors usually recommend using them only for short periods or on an as-needed basis.
Corticosteroids mimic cortisol – a hormone your adrenal glands produce naturally- that helps regulate your immune system’s response. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory properties making them effective in treating lupus flares that affect many parts of the body.
The corticosteroid dose depends on how severe your symptoms are because taking too much of it for too long can lead to serious complications like bone loss , elevated blood pressure,diabetes mellitus, cushing syndrome, increased risk of infections etc .
Despite their name,antimalarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), quinacrine (Atabrine),and chloroquine phosphate( Aralen ) do not just treat malaria they also help alleviate joint pains,fatigue rashes,and mouth sores associated with lupus by reducing inflammation.
Antimalarials accumulate slowly in your system; therefore you may have to wait up to six months before noticing any significant improvement. Also, they can cause rare but serious complications such as vision problems and cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease).
Antimalarials alone might not be enough to curb lupus cases when the symptoms are more severe hence Immunosuppressants come into play.Consider them insurance against flares that warrants escalation of therapy.
Myfotolic(Mycofenolate), cyclophopshamide,cyclosprin.Tacrolimus all fall under this category , These medications work by suppressing your immune system so it doesn’t attack healthy body tissues. They usually have potentially severe side effects themselves levels meaning doctors will monitor your white blood cells count,renal function,blood pressure frequently..
Biologic drugs typically reserved for people with more stubborn lupus or shorter-term use when other treatment options fail Because biologics Drugs like belimumab(Benlysta) attack specific targets on immune cells, preventing further damage while still retaining some degree of immunocompetence.
Due to their high cost and frequent hospital administration most times requiring intravenous infusions Hospital admission is needed which makes them difficult at times both for patients and physicians
It’s important to keep in mind that what works best varies from person-to-person since lupus affects each individual differently .The following factors could also influence a patient’s medication choices;
- Type of lupus: systemic, Discoid or drug-induced
- Severity Of Symptoms whether mild moderate,or Severe..
3.Drug interactions Sometimes penicillamine or methyldopa can stimulate list-lysine (LLD )autoantibodies associated with progressive skin weakness.
4.Gender: Certain meds aren’t suitable for pregnant women/breastfeeding mothers since some may pass through breast milk into babies
Managing lupus can be a challenging and ongoing process, but medications can help reduce symptom severity and improve overall quality of life.Successful medical management with few side effects usually requires a patient to work closely with their physician, giving consistent feedback regarding the efficacy and problematic medication symptoms..leading hospitals worldwide have doctors experienced in dealing with Lupus so always look for institutions that can optimize both care provision at all stages .
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