No treatment cures systemic lupus erythematosus, but many therapies can suppress symptoms and relieve discomfort. Treatment of SLE varies depending on the extent and severity of the disease.
Only three drugs are FDA-approved for the treatment of lupus:
However, none of these drugs are the current standard of care. In everyday practice, numerous other drugs are commonly used. Researchers are conducting numerous clinical studies and drug investigations. Genetic research in lupus is progressing very rapidly, and hopefully new drugs will be approved in the future. There are also different drugs available to treat some of the conditions associated with lupus.
Less intensive treatments may be effective for symptoms of mild lupus. They include:
More aggressive treatment is needed if there is serious disease progression, as evidenced by:
The primary approach to treating severe SLE is to suppress the immune factors, most often first with corticosteroids and other immunosuppressant drugs. Investigational drugs and procedures are also showing promise.
The major complications of the disease must be treated as separate problems, keeping in mind the specific aspects of SLE. They are discussed elsewhere in this report.
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