The severity of Lupus symptoms decides the type of treatment your doctor will prescribe for you. The treatment options will also take into account if the disease had affected your organs and the extent to which the symptoms are influencing your daily activities.
The symptoms of lupus can be controlled with self-care and medications. Self-care includes learning as much as possible about lupus, maintaining good communication with your doctor, and developing a healthy lifestyle.
Commonly used medications to treat lupus include:
NSAIDs such as naproxen and ibuprofen are available over-the-counter options. These are used to treat pain, swelling and fever associated with lupus. Strong doses of NSAIDs are available only through prescription. But, they can pose some side-effects such as stomach bleeding, kidney problems and an increased risk of heart problems.
Medicines such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) are used to treat malaria. These are useful in treating lupus. Side effects of anti-malarial drugs are an upset stomach and damage to retina (it very rare).
There are various types of corticosteroids such as Prednisone available to counter the inflammation of lupus. But these medications can put one at a risk of long term side-effects like weight gain, easy bruising, thinning of bone, high blood pressure and diabetes. The risk of side effects increases with higher doses and longer term therapy.
Drugs like cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan), mycophenolate (Cellcept), leflunomide (Arava) and methotrexate (Trexall) can suppres the immune system and hence treat lupus. But everything comes at a price. The side-effects of these drugs can be increased risk of infection, decreased fertility, liver damage and cancer threat.
Apart from medical treatment, one can also treat lupus with some lifestyle changes and home remedies. Such as:
Talk therapy and support groups may help relieve depression and mood changes that may occur in patients with this disease. If you suffer from lupus, do not lose heart, take proper medicines and care.
Read more articles on Lupus.