Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

What is SLE?
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (sis-TEM-ick LOO-pus err-ah-theme-ahTOE-sus) is a chronic (long-lasting) rheumatic disease which affects joints, muscles and other parts of the body.

Who are predispose to SLE?
1. Mostly women between 18-45
2. African Americans.
3. Lupus can occur in young children or in older people.
4. Studies suggest that certain people may inherit the tendency to get lupus. New cases of lupus are more common in families where one member already has the disease.

1. Medications: aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, Antimalarial drugs, Corticosteroids, Immunosuppressants
2. Exercise
3. Diet/rest
4. Skin/sun protection

More aggressive therapy is required for life-threatening and more serious manifestations such as kidney inflammation, lung or heart involvement, and central nervous system symptoms.

Treatment in these circumstances might involve
1. High dose corticosteroids such as prednisone (Deltasone)
2. Immunosuppressive drugs such as azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).
3. Recently mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) has been used to treat severe lupus kidney disease. Sometimes several medications must be combined.

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