How The Treatment For Lupus Works
Author: Tobias Higgens
With auto immune diseases, the body’s cells, which are healthy, are attacked by the immune system’s antibodies. This is also the case of systemic lupus erythematosus, a disease that also exposes the affected people to other severe health problems generated by the malfunction of the immune system. Musculoskeletal disorders, like arthritis or osteoporosis; heart, liver, kidney and lung conditions; affections of the nervous system and those of the skin, such as lupus rash, are much more severe and dangerous for patients with lupus than for healthy people.
Systemic lupus erythematosus has a chameleonic nature, and its gallery of possible symptoms is enormous and difficult to identify, because most of them are not specific. This is what makes this disease so hard to diagnose. The symptoms themselves generate possible errors of diagnosis and the correct one cannot be achieved only by means of the patient’s declarations. It takes more than that and the response leads to the results of laboratory analyses. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the adequate treatment will be immediately prescribed, according to the patient’s particular case.
It is necessary for the treatment to cover the unpredictable nature of the disease. SLE is a continuous alternation of relapsing and remission periods, and the treatment’s goal is to make the remission periods last for as long as possible. The next step is the improvement of the SLE’s symptoms. This disease doesn’t go away but it may be prevented from causing more damage to the person it affects and this can only be achieved with proper treatment. The fact that lupus is a strongly chronic disorder implies that the medication must be permanently administered.
The early phases of SLE, in which the patients don’t experience severe symptoms, determine the treatment to direct its power to the prevention of the complications that come with this disease. In case of a violent form of lupus, the treatment’s attention turns to the blockage of the immune system’s attacks on the organism.
The usually prescribed treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus are corticosteroids, antimalarials, NSAIDs and cytotoxic medicines. When the blockage of malign antibodies production is necessary, biologic medications are used. Very frequently used are also analgesics and sedatives. In the particularly severe cases, the treatment for lupus may also involve powerful antibiotics.
Antimalarials are used in order to diminish the inflammations and the lesions on the skin generated by the disease and have good results for systemic lupus erythematosus as well as for discoid lupus erythematosus.
Corticosteroids are frequently used to control lupus by controlling the activity of the immune system in order to minimize the damages produced by its malfunction. They are extremely powerful drugs.
Cytotoxic medicines have strong effects and are only given in severe lupus commonly in association with corticosteroids. They are used to block the formation of the nocive antibodies.
NSAIDs have as main goal to decrease the inflammation and the rigidity of the articulations and to relieve the muscular pain.