OTC drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can offer some relief from your lupus symptoms. These drugs can control pain and reduce fever. In general, acetaminophen may cause fewer intestinal side effects than prescription drugs. But it may also cause kidney and liver problems. Ask your doctor what the right dosage is for you. Taking the correct dosage extra important if you have kidney disease from lupus. You may be more sensitive to the side effects from acetaminophen.
If NSAIDs or acetaminophen don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may give you an opioid. These drugs are prescription pain medications. They’re powerful and can be habit-forming. In fact, these drugs aren’t normally a first-line treatment for lupus because of the risk of addiction. Opioids can also make you very sleepy. You should never take these drugs with alcohol.
These drugs include: