What are some treatment options for SLE?
Because SLE is a chronic disease, there is no cure for the condition. The primary goal of treatment is to control inflammation, manage symptoms and prevent organ damage. This is done by suppressing the immune system to stop inflammation. Although there is no cure for SLE, early intervention can be greatly beneficial, helping patients function at a high level and lead relatively normal lives. While medications are the most common method for the management of SLE, TeleMed2U rheumatologists also offer integrative, holistic treatment approaches based upon a “S.E.N.S.E.” - ible approach: Stress management, Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep & positive social Engagements.
PLEASE VISIT THE US IN LUPUS WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW YOU CAN BECOME ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CUSTOMIZING YOUR OWN LUPUS TREATMENT PLANS: https://www.usinlupus.com/living-with-lupus/
IF YOU NEED HELP ENGAGING (TALKING) WITH YOUR LOVED ONES, MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS OR OTHER MEMBERS OF YOUR HEALTHCARE TEAM ABOUT YOUR LUPUS, PLEASE VISIT THE US IN LUPUS WEBSITE AT: https://www.usinlupus.com/talking-about-lupus/
Medications currently available for the treatment of SLE include:
- Antimalarial drugs - commonly used for the treatment and prevention of SLE symptoms such as arthritis, fatigue, rashes, and mouth sores.
- Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)*
- Corticosteroids - a stronger anti-inflammatory designated for more serious complications related to SLE such as inflammation affecting the heart, lung, or kidneys.
- methylprednisolone (Medrol)
- Immunosuppressants - also helpful with more serious complications from SLE. Suppress the immune symptoms to treat and prevent SLE complications.
- azathioprine (Imuran)
- mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept)
- methotrexate (Trexall, Xatmep)
- cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- rituximab (Rituxan)
- leflunomide (Arava)
- Voclosporin* (Lupkynis)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - mostly used to control pain, swelling, and fever associated with SLE symptoms. Both over-the-counter and prescription options are available.
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- naproxen sodium (Aleve)
- Biologics- an intravenous treatment used for milder forms of SLE and approved for use in both adults and children.
- belimumab* (Benlysta)
What are the best methods for successful treatment, and for living with SLE?
SLE is a very manageable disease, and treatment options have improved over the years, allowing individuals to live longer with better quality of life. Some things that can help achieve longevity which include:
- Exercise - having a regular exercise program will help prevent serious complications due to SLE like heart disease. It can also help better manage arthritis symptoms by keeping the joints flexible.
- Prenatal consultation - having children may be complicated while suffering from SLE. Pregnancies are considered high risk, so careful planning prior to getting pregnant should be done to avoid any complications or miscarriages.
- Avoid excessive sunlight - avoiding sunlight as much as possible will help reduce SLE rashes from developing. Wear as much protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen as possible when outdoors.
- Develop a support system - a strong network of qualified specialists such as the experts at TeleMed2U should be used to better manage SLE. Have family and loved ones educated on the disease so they can help support you with this chronic illness. If you want to connect with other patients with lupus and learn from their personal experiences, check out the Lupus Buddy Program from the Lupus Foundation of Northern California: https://www.lfnc.org/lupus-buddy.html
- Education- being educated on the disease is important in establishing an effective medication regimen and in learning to avoid potential triggers which can exacerbate the condition. Staying engaged and speaking regularly to your healthcare providers will also help better manage the disease.
SLE is a complicated autoimmune disease but treatments are improving. Learn more about treatment options for successful management of SLE, from our highly-qualified professionals at TeleMed2U.