Lupus is basically an autoimmune disease. In this condition a person’s immune system basically turns against specific parts of the individual’s body that it is required to protect. While there is no complete cure for this condition lupus treatment can help a person to manage this illness.
Lupus treatments are designed based on specifics of each case and the treatment options can be changed as per the circumstances. The treatment plan will be designed based on such aspects as the age and sex of the patient along with the symptoms and the lifestyle of the person. Such a plan is designed so as to prevent any flare up of the disease and also to minimize all possible damage to organs and any complications.
Those individuals who experience chest or joint pain along with fever such drugs are used that help to decrease any inflammation. These drugs are called NSAIDs and include such medicines as ibuprofen along with naproxen. Some side effects associated with the use of NSAIDs include stomach upset, fluid retention, diarrhea and heartburn.
Anti malarial drugs are also used as part of lupus treatment. These are the drugs that were originally employed in treatment against malaria and are now used for lupus treatment as they are effective. Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat lupus. These drugs are used to treat joint pain, fatigue, lung inflammation and skin rashes that are causes because of lupus. Side effects of these anti malarial may include stomach upset and damage to retina.
Corticosteroids are also an important aspect of different options in lupus treatment. Corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone and prednisone among others suppress inflammation and can be taken orally or by way of injection and also in the form of creams. Some effects of corticosteroids include increased appetite, weight gain and swelling.
Among some patients lupus affects the central nervous system or the kidneys. In those cases immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed. Immunosuppressive drugs used the treatment include mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide and these work by restraining the immune system which is overactive by blocking production of the immune cells. The side effects associated with these drugs include hair loss, vomiting, nausea, bladder problems, risk of cancer and decreased fertility.
For some patients lupus treatment may also include prescription of DMARDs such as methotrexate which is an anti rheumatic drug and helps to control this disease. Lifestyle changes are also an important part of any lupus treatment program. To keep this disease under control the patient should indulge in moderate and regular exercise. Such exercise can help the patient to prevent any possible muscle weakness along with fatigue.
Patients experiencing lupus should also be immunized against particular infections and get adequate rest. Reducing stress and eating a well balance diet are other crucial aspects of lupus treatment. It is also important that the patients get adequate rest and quit smoking. Sun exposure can result in flaring of the condition along with rashes and so sun exposure should be strictly avoided in this condition.
Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation along with guided imagery can also be employed as part of lupus treatment so as to calm the body and the mind. Some experimental treatments for this condition include stem cell transplantation and immunoablation. In immunoablation powerful drugs are used to wipe away the damaged part of the immune system. After this the bone marrow may be replaced on its own or with the aid of stem cell transplantation.
Biologic treatment is also a new treatment that is being investigated. In this treatment certain substances are used that block some parts of the immune system without suppressing the complete immune system. Androgenic supplements like DHEA also known as prasterone may be used as it helps in reducing the dependence on corticosteroids and also improving the bone density.
In severe cases of lupus, plasmapheresis may be used. In this line of treatment some part of blood may be removed. In case of destruction of the blood platelets intravenous immune globulin might be employed as part of the lupus treatment plan.