Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) - Treatment Overview
What to think about
Taking corticosteroids by mouth and
being physically inactive put people with lupus at great risk of bone thinning (osteoporosis). Getting an adequate supply of
vitamin D may slow the bone thinning process. Your
doctor may also prescribe bisphosphonates, a type of medicine
that is also used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. To learn more, see the topic
Lupus treatment is complicated by several things.
The course and pattern of lupus symptoms vary widely.
Flares and remissions can occur at any time, making it hard to tell how you are responding to treatment or which treatments are most helpful.
Some treatment side effects can be as troubling as the symptoms of lupus.
It may not be possible to completely eliminate all of
your symptoms for long periods of time, especially without the side effects
from medicines. Work closely with your doctor to reach a balance
between reasonably controlling your symptoms, preventing damage to your organs,
and minimizing side effects of long-term drug treatment. For example, you may
take a dose of medicine that will control lupus enough to prevent organ
damage, but you may still have symptoms such as mild skin rash, muscle aches,
and joint pain.
Using higher doses of medicines for a long time increases the
risk of serious side effects. Your doctor will prescribe a dose
that controls only the most serious, life-threatening symptoms and balances the
risks of the medicines with the benefits of controlling your symptoms.