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How is lupus nephritis treated?

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There are five different types of lupus nephritis. Treatment is based on the type you have, which is determined by a biopsy. Since symptoms and severity are different for each person, treatment is specific to the person.

Medications used in treatment can include:

  • Corticosteroids. These strong anti-inflammatory drugs can decrease inflammation. Doctors may prescribe these until the lupus nephritis improves. Because these drugs can cause a variety of potentially serious side effects, they must be monitored carefully. Doctors generally taper down the dosage once the symptoms start to improve.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs are related to the ones used to treat cancer or prevent the rejection of transplanted organs. They work by suppressing immune system activity that damages the kidneys. They include cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), azathioprine (Imuran) and mycophenolate (Cellcept).
  • Medications to prevent blood clots or lower blood pressure if needed

From: Lupus Nephritis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Cedars-Sinai: "Lupus" and "Lupus Nephritis."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Lupus and Kidney Disease: What You Should Know about Lupus Nephritis (Lupus Kidney Disease)."

Lupus Foundation of America: "Kidney Disease."

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Lupus Nephritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on August 09, 2017

SOURCES:

Cedars-Sinai: "Lupus" and "Lupus Nephritis."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Lupus and Kidney Disease: What You Should Know about Lupus Nephritis (Lupus Kidney Disease)."

Lupus Foundation of America: "Kidney Disease."

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Lupus Nephritis."

Reviewed by David Zelman on August 09, 2017

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What happens if treatment of lupus nephritis does not stop loss of kidney function?

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