Lupus Treatment

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 5,706
    Dr. Howard R. Smith with the Cleveland Clinic discusses treatment options for lupus.

    Howard R. Smith: So how we do treat lupus? Well, most patients with lupus have rash, inflammation of their skin, arthritis and fatigue. So most of our patients start on, non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen and that helps relieve joint pain and inflammation. And then many patients get a medication called hydroxychloroquine or plaquenil which helps with the fatigue, the skin rash and the arthritis.

    If the diseases have progressed so that involves the heart, lung and kidneys we give much more powerful medications. Medications which suppressed the immune system, the main stay is prednisone, a corticosteroid, a steroid medicine, it will suppress inflammation. And then if the kidneys are involved there is other groups of medicines we give that are much more powerful.

    Now patients with lupus do a lot better these days than they did years ago. Our treatments have advance and the prognosis is fairly good at this point. In the 1950s those women who develop lupus had about 5% chance of living the next 5 years, turbo prognosis. But today thats totally flipped, now if a women is diagnose with lupus she has a greater than 95% chance of living the next 5 years if not even better than that.

    So we have made progress in our treatment of lupus and thats partly due to our understanding of the way the disease works, the information we gift a patients and their part in managing their diseases and the medications and knowing how to use them.

    So, overall many patients with lupus can do their activities of daily living without too much difficulty.

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