It’s no secret, no two lupus patients are alike. Treating lupus is challenging to say the least. New medications, such as Benlysta, are finally available, but the co mplexities of this illness remain ever present. This section will focus on the treatments Western and Eastern medicines that might be helpful in managing lupus and related conditions.
Drugs Used to Manage SLE
The management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is divided into four parts: physical measures, medication, counseling, and surgical procedures (e.g., joint replacement, splenectomy, biopsy). This monograph will review medication aspects for treating the disease. However the reader shoud be cognizant that the other three
aspects of management play an important interactive role as well.
In considering therapies
for SLE, it should be noted that half of SLE is organ threatening; which is defined as involving th e heart, lung,kidney, liver, central nervous system vasculitis, hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia. Half with SLE may have constitutional symptoms (e.g., fevers, swollen glands, fatigue, weight loss), serositis (inflammation of the lining of the heart or lung known as pleurisy or pericarditis), swollen or painful muscles or joints as well as rashes but their organs are spared.
Non-organ threatening disease is managed differently than its more serious counterpart and only has a 20% of disseminating to the organs. The risk of this spread is almost entirely limited to the first 5 years after diagnosis. Finally, medications are used to prevent certain aspects of lupus from manifesting themselves or involving specific organ systems and others are used to treat lupus subsets. With this in mind, we will now begin.