What is the treatment for lupus? What is the usual outcome?
Treatment for lupus targets patient education and control of inflammation. Patients are made to understand that lupus requires rest and proper evening sleep, avoidance of stress, avoidance of sun exposure and regular follow-up with the doctor. The rheumatologists do this, as well as several “lupus clubs” that have sprung up in the country – Manila, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, both steroids and non-steroids, are used, and may be maintained for extended periods. The rheumatologist uses additional important medicines for its control.
Proper, early, and aggressive treatment for lupus improves outcome that is quantified as 90% survival in ten years. The new treatment methods from ongoing researches using targeted methods (controlling the abnormal part of the defense system) promises to raise this outlook. Among Filipinos, infection is still the leading cause of frequent hospital admissions and even death – which is expected of an abnormal defense system that is unable to fight bacteria and viruses, as well as of treatment, that also dampens the activity of the same. A critical balance is usually achieved in the hands of a specialist, and therefore, the general outlook for lupus has tremendously improved.