Tramadol (Ultram) is a prescription pain drug. It acts like both an opioid pain reliever and an antidepressant. It can help ease short-term pain from lupus. Like opioids, this drug is habit-forming and can make you sleepy. You shouldn’t take it with alcohol.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
These drugs are used to treat certain autoimmune diseases. They work by suppressing an overactive immune system. This reduces inflammation caused by lupus, which can help relieve symptoms. DMARDS often are used with NSAIDs.
These drugs include:
- hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
- cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)
- azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
These drugs were first approved to treat malaria. They decrease autoantibody production in your body. This effect reduces the damage lupus can do to your organs. These drugs also help ease lupus symptoms.
These medications can take several months to be effective, so they’re only given after other drugs don’t work. Side effects are usually mild. However, these drugs can cause vision changes in some people. If you take any of these drugs, you need to have your vision checked as often as your doctor suggests.