There is no cure for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), instead treatment is focused on:
Exact treatments will depend on individual's overall health, the areas of the body that are affected, and the impact of symptoms on life. Specialists may be needed, such as a rheumatologist to manage joint issues, cardiologist for heart complications, or nephrologist for kidney problems.
SLE is different in everyone. No matter which symptoms are present, the earlier SLE and SLE flare ups are detected and treated, the better it can be managed. Keeping in touch with the medical team is important to help find the treatments that work best.
The goals of SLE treatment include:
SLE treatments may involve the following:
Guidelines for referral and management of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Guidelines. Arthritis Rheum. 1999;42(9):1785-1796.
Lupus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/default.asp. Updated February 2015. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 29, 2016. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal_and_connective_tissue_disorders/autoimmune_rheumatic_disorders/systemic_lupus_erythematosus_sle.html. Updated June 2013. Accessed May 16, 2016.
Treating lupus. Lupus Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.lupus.org/answers/topic/treating-lupus. Updated July 12, 2013. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, 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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