The treatment and management of SLE is centered around drugs to minimize disease activity and prevent flare-ups. Because the cause is unknown, its inflammatory mechanisms are the target of medication.
SLE is a chronic, lifelong disease. Many people with SLE lead relatively normal lives. Some are moderately debilitated and a few are very ill. Early attention to your lifestyle can help minimize the effects of SLE.
The most dangerous complication of SLE is lupus nephritis, which can destroy your kidney function and require dialysis or a transplant to keep you alive. Current medications help prevent this complication.
Treatment involves the following:
Surgery is not a standard treatment option for SLE. However, if you have lupus nephritis and it leads to kidney failure, you may need to have a kidney transplant.
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/ .
Lupus Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.lupus.org/ .
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .
Last reviewed June 2013 by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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