List of Common Lupus Medications

Antimalarials for lupus include:

  • chloroquine (Aralen), used off-label
  • hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
What Is Off-Label Drug Use?
Off-label drug use means that a drug that’s been approved by the FDA for one purpose is used for a different purpose that has not been approved. However, a doctor can still use the drug for that purpose. This is because the FDA regulates the testing and approval of drugs, but not how doctors use drugs to treat their patients. So, your doctor can prescribe a drug however they think is best for your care.

BLyS-specific inhibitors or monoclonal antibodies (MAbS)

Belimumab (Benlysta) works by suppressing autoantibodies in people with lupus. This helps to improve lupus symptoms. This drug was approved in 2011. It was the first drug created specifically for lupus in 50 years. This type of drug has shown to be helpful, but more research is needed to know how well it works long-term.

Immunosuppressive agents and immune modulators

In advanced cases of lupus, these drugs might be used to suppress the overactive immune system. These drugs include:

  • azathioprine (Imuran)
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • mycophenolate mofetil
  • cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)

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