Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) – Treatment Overview

Your treatment choices for lupus depend on how severe your symptoms are, whether your organs are affected, and how much your symptoms are affecting your daily life. Your treatment plans should be tailored to your individual needs and will change over time, as the disease flares or ebbs. There currently is no cure for lupus.

Treatment for mild lupus

The goal of treatment for mild lupus is to prevent symptom flares-when fatigue, joint pain, and rash get worse.

  • Get regular checkups with your doctor, instead of waiting until your disease flares. When flares do occur, the goal is to treat them right away to limit any damage to body organs.
  • Avoid the sun. If you must be in the sun, cover your arms and legs, wear a hat, and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (covering both UVA and UVB rays) with a high sun protection factor (such as SPF 50) to protect your skin.
  • Use corticosteroid cream for rashes.
  • Take acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for mild joint or muscle pain and fever. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take antimalarial medicines, especially for skin rashes. They also help with fatigue and joint and muscle pain.
  • Take low-dose corticosteroids if NSAIDs aren’t effective in controlling your symptoms.

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