Learning About Lupus Treatments And Medications
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that continues to be very poorly understood. There is no cure for it at present, and it is often very difficult to diagnose straight away as well. Once diagnosed only a few lupus treatments and medications exist. Usually, these are directed at treating not the disease, but only the symptoms. Sometimes the treatments and medications that are available carry significant risks with them as well, and patients can experience serious side effects. Sometimes, these outweigh the potential benefits that people could enjoy, meaning they cannot receive the treatment. At present, medical scientists agree that the best form of treatment is that which prevents further flareups.
Lupus Treatments and Medications:
There have been a number of specific types of treatments that have been shown to be reasonably effective in preventing flareups, albeit not in every patient. These include medication and making lifestyle changes. Which lifestyle changes that patients need to make, however, will depend strongly on the individual. It also usually takes a long period of trial and error before something effective is found, and this effectiveness can sometimes be short-lived.
Three types of pharmaceutical lupus treatments and medications currently exist. Usually, they are offered to those who have mild to moderate symptoms associated with lupus. If patients have a more severe case, they may require more aggressive treatment as well. The three medications used are:
1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
One of the most common symptoms of lupus is inflammation. As a result, NSAIDs are almost always prescribed in order to take care of the inflammation and increase a patient's level of comfort. This is generally a very effective method of treatment. Over the counter NSAIDs can be used in mild cases of lupus, although those with more significant symptoms may require prescription medication. A physician should review the best method of treatment.
2. Antimalarial drugs
There is no known biological relationship between malaria and lupus. Yet, various studies have shown that providing lupus patients with antimalarial drugs can be effective in reducing the number of flareups that they experience. That said, antimalarial drugs can have significant side effects, including muscle weakness and vision problems. As a result, physicians will usually only prescribe them in more severe cases of lupus, and only for a short period of time.
Corticosteroids usually help in reducing the symptoms of inflammation common in people who have lupus. However, these medications have very serious potential side effects if use excessively, and these side effects can last for a long time. Hence, they are often only prescribed when people have symptoms preceding a flareup, and only for a very short period of time, simply to prevent the flareup from actually happening.
If someone has a more severe case of lupus, they will require stronger medication. Commonly, this includes high dosage immunosuppressive medication and corticosteroids. However, these have significant drawbacks and side effects so are only offered as a last resort and preferably only for a short period of time. Additionally, patients must remain under physician supervision while they are on this treatment.
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