All lupus patients are NOT equal. therefore, treatment is not always the same. However, the backbone of treatment is.
1) HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE (Plaquenil)
The cornerstone medication for any lupus patient is hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), which is an old anti-malarial medication. Chloroquine may be used in those who do not tolerate hydroxychloroquine.
Hydroxychloroquine has been shown to be very useful in lupus patients. This is why I love this medication for my lupus patients:
Hydroxychloroquine is a safe medication. A rare yet problematic complication of long-term use of hydroxychloroquine is an injury the retina. The risk of this occurring is one in 5000 patients, around 5 years after the initiation of therapy, therefore all patients on hydroxychloroquine must see an ophthalmologist at least annually.
2) VITAMIN D REPLACEMENT
Maintaining an appropriate vitamin D level has been shown to:
Benefit in bone health
May prevent heart disease
May prevent breast cancer
May prevent diabetes
May help to reduce protein loss in urine in SLE
Reduce lupus disease activity
Reduces risk of blood clots
Reduces blood pressure
3) PREVENTATIVE MEASURES
In order to minimize flares, patients are recommended to avoid sun exposure and/or apply sunscreen with SPF 100 and reapplied every four hours if they remain outdoors.
Medications and Supplements to Avoid
Cold medications containing Echinacea
Sleeping aids containing melatonin
Garlic supplements and/or powder/cloves
Bactrim (Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) Antibiotic