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Lupus - Drug Lawsuit SourceLupus: Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatments

Commonly asked questions about lupus.

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease, meaning that your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues in your body. Lupus is often difficult to diagnose. This is because the signs and symptoms of lupus are often similar to that of other ailments. Lupus is capable of effecting the skin, joints, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other internal organs. The most distinctive sign of lupus is a butterfly-wing shaped facial rash across both cheeks.

What Causes Lupus?

According to the Mayo Clinic and Medical News Today, the exact cause of lupus is unknown. However, there are several environmental factors that may trigger lupus in those affected by it. Some potential triggers include:

  • Sunlight: Exposure to the sun may trigger lupus skin lesions or an internal response.
  • Infections: Having an infection may initiate lupus in some people, or cause a relapse in those who already have it.
  • Medications: Lupus may be triggered by specific types of anti-seizure medication, blood pressure medications or antibiotics.

What Risk Factors are Associated with Lupus?

According to Lupus.org some of the main risk factors associated with lupus include:

Risk Factors Description
Gender More than 90% of those affected by lupus are women.
Race Lupus is more common in people of color (African America, Indian, Asian) than in Caucasians, as well as usually being more severe.
Age Most of the time lupus is diagnosed between the ages of 15-44.
Family History Relatives of someone diagnosed with lupus have between a 5-13% chance of developing it themselves.

What are the Signs/Symptoms of Lupus?

Lupus.org states that lupus is often referred to as the “great imitator” because many of its symptoms are reminiscent of many other diseases. Due to the fact that lupus can affect many different organs a wide range of symptoms may occur, such as:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, hands or eyes
  • Pain in chest when deep breathing 
  • Butterfly-shaped rash across face and cheeks 
  • Sun or light sensitivity 
  • Hair loss
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Fingers turning white or blue when cold
  • Mouth or nose ulcers

Is Lupus Curable?

According to Mayo Clinic there is currently no cure available for lupus. However, there are many different ways that it can be treated.

What Drugs/Medications are Used to Treat Lupus?

The treatment for lupus depends on the signs and symptoms that you are showing. Due to the variety of symptoms that go along with lupus there is no one set way to treat it. As your symptoms flare or subside your dosage or medication may need to be changed entirely to adapt to the disease. According to Mayo Clinic and Lupus.org some of the most common drugs used to treat lupus are:

View Sources

  1. Mayo Clinic – Causes
  2. Medical News Today – Lupus Causes, Symptoms and Research
  3. Lupus.org – Risk Factors
  4. Lupus.org – Common Symptoms
  5. Mayo Clinic – Treatments and Drugs
  6. Lupus.org – How is lupus treated

Resources

Jung H, Bobba R, Su J, Shariati-Sarabi Z, Gladman D, Urowitz M, Lou W, Fortin P,  The Protective Effect of Antimalarial Drugs on Thrombocascular Events in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus,2010, TOC vol.62(3), 863-868

Cale C, Morton L, Goldblatt D, Cutaneous and other lupus-like symptoms in carriers of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease: incidence and autoimmune serology, 2007, TOC vol.148(1), 79-84