Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) - Anti-malarial are used in treating skin and joint symptoms that occur in Lupus SLE. Anti-malarial medications are used to relieve symptoms such as:
- muscle and joint pain
Corticosteroids (glucocorticoids, cortisone or steroids) Prednisone, Prednisolone and Methyl-Prednisolone
Steroid medications work quite quickly to reduce inflammation. As beneficial as steroid medications are as a “quick fix” solution to ease the pain and inflammation there are side effects which deter doctors from keeping patients on the medication for long periods of time. Some of these side effects are a moon-shaped face and weight gain or “puffiness” of the hands and feet. Steroids can also cause irritability and depression.
Anti-Inflammatories help to reduce inflammation and pain in Lupus patients.
- Acetaminophen, Tylenol®
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- ibuprofen (Motrin®)
- naproxen (Naprosyn®)
- indomethacin (Indocin®)
- nabumetone (Relafen®)
- celecoxib (Celebrex®)
Immunosuppressive drugs “slow down” the overactive immune system. They are usually prescribed if the patient can no longer take steroids or they are not progressing very well in their treatment. Because Immunosuppressive drugs are essentially slowing down your immune system a patient may have a higher risk of contracting infections. Examples of immunosuppressive medications are as follows:
- Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®)
- Methotrexate (Rheumatrex™)
- Azathioprine (Imuran®)