As different as the lupus symptoms are, so individually is the therapy of the disease tailored. 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 warrant treatment for lupus erythematosus or SLE. Especially since many of the drugs used in a SLE are indeed effective in therapy, but can have a number of sometimes serious side effects.
Lupus therapy in SLE
For small symptoms on the skin, only these are treated with skin cream during therapy. This is especially true for the therapy of discoid lupus. In systemic lupus (SLE), four groups of drugs are used in therapy, which - depending on the extent of the discomfort and organ involvement - gradually build on each other. Many of these therapeutics are used for treatment not only in SLE, but also in rheumatism and other autoimmune diseases:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which mainly help against the inflammation-related pain in joints and muscles in lupus
- Basic therapy with chloroquine - an agent that is also used in malaria
- Cortisone preparations are anti-inflammatory and are often combined with chloroquine
- Immunosuppressants are then used in therapy if the symptoms do not improve with the other remedies or organs are involved. They sometimes have serious side effects, so their use must be well balanced and under close control. The most commonly used ingredient in lupus is azathioprine; Cyclosporin A and mycophenolate mofetil are also often used. Cytostatic agents such as cyclophosphamide or methotrexate are also used in SLE, as is thalidomide.
Lupus: therapy with CDLE and SCLE
In the case of discoid lupus (CDLE) and subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), short-term local ointment treatment with cortisone preparations (often with an overnight dressing) is usually sufficient as a treatment measure. In more severe cases of these types of lupus, the remedy is also injected locally. In addition, topical treatment with liquid nitrogen can heal the skin lesions. If these methods are not sufficient, the treatment will be supplemented with antimalarials.
Supplementary therapy for lupus
The inflammation affects the joints, often help a temporary immobilization and a local cold treatment. In severe cases and imminent bed restraint usual measures for thrombosis and embolic prophylaxis are also used in lupus therapy.