In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept, Myfortic) should not be used during pregnancy as it can cause miscarriages and birth defects.
Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Overview
SLE is an autoimmune disease that causes a chronic inflammatory condition. The inflammation triggered by SLE affects many organs in the body, including skin, joints, kidneys, lung, and nervous system. Women, especially African-American and Asian women, are at highest risk for developing SLE.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Not all patients with SLE experience the same symptoms. The most common symptoms are joint pain, skin rash, and fever. Symptoms can develop slowly or appear suddenly. Many patients with SLE have “flares,” in which symptoms suddenly worsen and then disappear for long periods of time. Diagnosing SLE is complicated because symptoms vary widely and can resemble other conditions. A doctor will base an SLE diagnosis on certain specific criteria including symptom history and the results of blood tests for antinuclear antibodies.
No drug can cure SLE, but many different drugs can help control symptoms and relieve discomfort. The choice of drugs depends on the severity of the condition as well as other factors. Patients with mild SLE may be helped by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while patients with more severe SLE may require corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. Researchers are working to develop new drugs and treatments for SLE.
Living with SLE
Patients can make lifestyle changes to help cope with SLE. These include:
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