Lupus erythematosus therapy

Lupus erythematosus therapy

As different as the lupus symptoms are, the treatment of the disease is tailored to the individual. The therapy depends on the symptoms and the course of the lupus. This means, for example, that antibodies detected in the blood alone do not justify therapy against lupus erythematosus or SLE. Especially since many of the drugs used in SLE are very effective in therapy, but a number of them can also have serious side effects.

Lupus therapy in SLE

In the case of minor skin symptoms, only these are treated with skin cream during therapy. This applies in particular to the treatment of discoid lupus.

In principle, four groups of drugs are used in the therapy of systemic lupus (SLE), which – depending on the extent of the symptoms and organ involvement – build on each other in stages. Many of these therapeutics are used to treat not only SLE but also rheumatism and other autoimmune diseases :

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) primarily help to relieve the inflammation-related pain in joints and muscles associated with lupus.
  • Primary therapy with chloroquine – a drug that is also used in malaria.
  • Cortisone preparations have an anti-inflammatory effect and are often combined with chloroquine.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs are used in therapy if the symptoms do not improve with other drugs or if organs are involved. They sometimes have serious side effects, so their use must be carefully considered and closely monitored. The drug most commonly used in lupus is azathioprine; Cyclosporin A and mycophenolate mofetil are often used as well. Cytostatics such as cyclophosphamide or methotrexate are also used in SLE, as is thalidomide.


Lupus: therapy for CDLE and SCLE

In the case of discoid lupus (CDLE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), short-term topical ointment treatment with cortisone preparations (often with a bandage overnight) is usually sufficient as a therapeutic measure.

In more severe cases of these types of lupus, the drug is also injected locally. In addition, local treatment with liquid nitrogen can also heal the skin changes.

If these methods are insufficient, additional antimalarials are given as part of the therapy.

Complementary therapy in lupus

Suppose the inflammation affects the joints, temporary immobilization and local cold treatment often help. In the case of severe courses and impending confinement to bed, the usual measures for thrombosis and embolism prophylaxis are also used in lupus therapy.

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