Disseminated lupus erythematosus; SLE; Lupus; Lupus erythematosus; Discoid lupus
There is no cure for SLE. The goal of treatment is to control symptoms.
Mild disease may be treated with:
You should wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen when in the sun.
Severe or life-threatening symptoms (such as hemolytic anemia, extensive heart or lung involvement, kidney disease, or central nervous system involvement) often require more aggressive treatment by doctor specialists.
Treatment for more severe lupus may include:
If you have lupus, it is also important to have:
Talk therapy and support groups may help relieve depression and mood changes that may occur in patients with this disease.
See: Lupus resources
How well a person does depends on the severity of the disease.
The outcome for people with SLE has improved in recent years. Many people with SLE have mild symptoms.
Women with SLE who become pregnant are often able to carry safely to term and deliver a healthy infant, as long as they do not have severe kidney or heart disease and the SLE is being treated appropriately. However, the presence of SLE antibodies may increase the risk of pregnancy loss.
Some people with SLE have abnormal deposits in the kidney cells. This leads to a condition called lupus nephritis. Patients with this condition may eventually develop kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
SLE causes damage to many different parts of the body, including:
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of SLE. Also, call if you have this disease and your symptoms get worse or a new one occurs.
Ruiz-Irastorza G, Ramos-Casals M, Brito-Zeron P, Khamashta MA. Clinical efficacy and side effects of antimalarials in systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69:20-28.
Hahn BH, Tsao BP. Pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris ED Jr., et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 74.
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