lupus varies by the individual. Flares and remissions
can occur abruptly, unexpectedly, and without clear cause. The major goal for
ongoing treatment of lupus is prevention or management of damage to the body
organs, including the arteries, kidneys, bones, and brain.
control mild but continuing symptoms of lupus, treatment includes:
- Avoiding the sun. If you must be in the sun,
cover your arms and legs, wear a hat, and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen
UVA and UVB rays) with a high sun protection factor (such as
SPF 50) to protect your skin.
corticosteroid cream for rashes.
- Taking acetaminophen or nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and getting plenty of rest for
mild joint or muscle pain and fever.
antimalarial medicines, especially for skin rashes, but also for fatigue and joint and muscle pain.
corticosteroids if NSAIDs aren't effective in
controlling your symptoms.
If your lupus symptoms are more severe and damage to
organs is threatened, treatment may include:
- Corticosteroids in higher dose, for serious
complications needing longer-term treatment.
- Medicine that
suppresses your immune system (immunosuppressants).
People with lupus have a greater risk of heart attack and stroke than people without lupus. To help prevent heart attack and stroke, your doctor will help you manage risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
self-care is essential to managing lupus. A healthy
lifestyle may reduce the frequency and severity of flares, resulting in an
improved quality of life. Good self-care also helps decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Self-care includes:
- Regular exercise.
- Education about
lupus and self-care.
- Not smoking.
- Eating a healthful,
- Developing a support system of family, friends, and
Treatment if the condition gets worse
If you have
lupus that seriously impact your quality of life or
are life-threatening or causing serious organ damage, you will likely need
aggressive treatment, which may include:
- Medicine that suppresses your
immune system (immunosuppressants), necessary to
prevent permanent damage to your organs and possible death.
self-care is essential for the successful management
of lupus. It improves your quality of life and may help delay flares (times
when your symptoms get worse). For example, you may be able to limit symptom
flares by protecting against sun exposure, avoiding and promptly treating
infections, and keeping your stress level as low as you can. Stress reduction
techniques include exercise and simplifying your schedule. Getting plenty of
rest may offset the fatigue that is common in lupus.
with lupus produce a protein (antibody) that attacks certain
blood-clotting factors, which can cause the blood to clot easily. This
antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, can lead to mild
or severe blood-clotting complications. If you develop this condition, you may
anticoagulant medicine to slow blood clotting. This
is especially important if you have already developed blood clots. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is sometimes used to slow blood clotting.