Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) – Treatment Overview

Treatment for more severe lupus

If your lupus is causing or threatening organ damage, is life-threatening, or is seriously impacting your quality of life, you may also need to take:

  • Corticosteroids in higher doses, either in pills or through a vein in your arm (IV).
  • Medicine that suppresses your immune system (immunosuppressants).

To learn more, see Medications.

If you develop serious kidney disease that cannot be controlled with medicine, you may need dialysis or a kidney transplant.


Good self-care is essential to managing lupus. A healthy lifestyle may reduce how often you have flares and how severe they are. It can improve your quality of life. Good self-care also helps decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Self-care includes getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. To learn more, see Home Treatment.

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