How is lupus treated?
The treatment in lupus tends to be targeted towards suppressing the immune system, but the degree to which it’s suppressed depends entirely on the patients. Different patients exhibit different symptoms, and must be treated accordingly. “There are some systems that are geared more towards the skin and joint-pain. Anti-malarial medications such as Plaquenil, generically named Hydroxychloroquine, are medications that work well for milder forms of lupus,” he says. “For more complex cases, for example people that have kidney involvement, hematologic system involvement, low platelets, or remarkable anemia, there are more significant immune suppressors. They can use medications such as Mycophenolate mofetil, which goes by the brand name CellCept, and that been shown to work in renal disease and has been used in other settings as well.” For a full list of treatments, see this factsheet at the American College of Rheumatology.
“Certainly this disease can occur,” he says. “But [lupus] can be identified and [it] can be managed successfully. So, the important thing is to recognize any symptoms, such as the ones we talked about. Seek the attention of your doctor.”
The key takeaway is that treatment depends entirely on the patients, and will differ from one person to the next. However, Dr. Lozada stresses that with proper treatment, lupus patients can live successful lives.