Treatments for Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus is a condition that may cause several symptoms including inflammation, swelling, joint pain, fatigue, fever, rash, skin lesions, etc. It may also lead to more serious complications such as kidney, heart, lung or nervous system diseases as well.


Various prescription medications may be helpful in treating lupus including corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antimalarial drugs. High-dose corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs may be used for severe cases of lupus.

Treating Symptoms

Treatment may also vary depending on which symptoms you are experiencing. If you have a skin rash, many patients treat it using a topical corticosteroid. Oral corticosteroids or antimalarial drugs may also be used to treat rashes. NSAIDs are usually used to treat joint pain associated with lupus, although corticosteroids and antimalarial drugs may also be used. For patients suffering from fatigue, the source of fatigue is usually treated. Sleeplessness, depression and pain may be causes of fatigue so patients should speak with their doctor to determine the underlying cause.

Surgery and Dialysis

Surgery is usually used only in cases in which the lupus has caused kidney problems. A kidney transplant or dialysis may be used in these cases. For reasons that are not fully understood, lupus after a kidney transplant or during dialysis is sometimes less severe. Other treatments are still being studied to determine their effectiveness in treating lupus. Before any treatment, patients are encouraged to discuss their condition, symptoms and treatment options with their doctor.

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