Everyone has things they want to change when it comes to living with their lupus — like minimizing disease activity or reducing the number of flares so that you can make plans without the fear of canceling. These could be seen as lupus treatment goals, and everyone’s goals are unique. It’s important that you work with your doctor to find a path toward achieving them.
Making treatment goals can help you identify your progress and determine if you need to make changes.
Making room for your goals
When is it time to consider a change?
If you are still experiencing flares, it may mean your disease is active and not under control. If your symptoms get worse, or if new symptoms appear, it’s time to talk to your doctor. This will help you recognize if discussing a different treatment option or adding another medicine might be right for you.
Click on each lupus treatment option below to learn more.
Antimalarial medications are commonly recommended for lupus patients because they work to reduce the immune system’s attack on the body.
Research shows that antimalarials are effective for autoimmune disorders such as lupus because they reduce your body’s production of autoantibodies.
Steroids can provide rapid symptom relief when you’re having a flare—when some of your symptoms get worse or new symptoms appear. Steroids work to get flares under control by reducing your immune system’s response.
During a flare, steroids are often used as a front-line treatment because they work quickly to decrease inflammation.
Since lupus causes the immune system to attack the body, drugs which suppress or change the immune system may be added to other medicines to help reach treatment goals such as reducing lupus disease activity and flares.
Immunosuppressants are often added when lupus continues to affect the immune system, muscles, joints, skin, kidneys (lupus nephritis), and other vital organs.
Your doctor may recommend different immunosuppressive treatments.
Biologics are treatments that are created in a laboratory using substances like proteins and antibodies from living organisms. Some medicines, in contrast, are made/synthesized from chemical compounds.
Biologic therapies for lupus are designed to target specific proteins in order to help reduce/inhibit your immune system’s attack on your body.
A biologic may be prescribed as a more targeted add-on treatment to your existing medications.