Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is a disease of the immune system. Typically, the body immune system protects the body from infection. However, in lupus, the body immune system inappropriately assaults tissues in various parts of the body. This abnormal activity of the immune system results in tissue damage and disease.
Who Is Affected by Lupus?
Lupus can affect males and females of any race or age. One in 2,000 people in the United States has lupus. People of African, Asian and Native American descent are more likely to establish lupus than are Caucasians. Areas of the body which might be impacted during the course of lupus are shown in this drawing. The blood may also be impacted. If only women of childbearing age (14 to 45 years of ages) are thought about, as lots of as 1 in 250 might develop lupus. This suggests a possible function for female hormones affecting vulnerability to this disease.
Read more about lupus symptoms.
Is a Lupus Dangerous?
Similar to other autoimmune diseases, lupus causes the immune system to erroneously attack the body’s own cells. The skin, joints, blood, kidneys, and other organs can all be impacted. Lupus symptoms consist of arthritis-like joint issues, tiredness, inexplicable fever, and rashes on the face and other parts of the body. If organ damage is severe enough, lupus can even be possibly fatal. Everyone’s experience with lupus, however, is unique. They might appear outwardly healthy– making lupus an “invisible disease”– however this condition can exceptionally affect a person’s life.
Some medical professionals prescribe cancer-fighting drugs for lupus due to the fact that they have few other options to decrease an immune system gone haywire. The reason why we use these chemotherapeutics is due to the fact that we do not have actually, great medications for lupus. Couple of drugs have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for treating lupus. Some, such as aspirin and prednisone, are used for a number of other conditions. One drug approved in 2011 — belimumab, known by the brand Benlysta — was established particularly for lupus. Wilberger gets regular monthly infusions of this medication. Even with the introduction of this new drug, physicians still have few lupus-specific medications at their disposal. As a result, they have actually turned to already authorized cancer-fighting drugs that target the underlying cause of lupus — a hyperactive immune system. What we do is co-opt a lot of medications that suppress the immune system for our purposes in lupus. One of the side-effects of many cancer-fighting drugs is that they weaken the body immune system. In the treatment of lupus, however, this side effect is the item. Target of chemotherapy: lupus is reduce the immune system so it stops assaulting the patient itself. So using a great amount of the chemotherapy drugs that suppress the body immune system.
Lower Doses of Chemo Drugs for Lupus
One chemo substance abuse to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis is methotrexate. Many drugs used to treat one autoimmune disease also work in others since these conditions all share that overactive body immune system. Methotrexate was initially established to treat cancer. During treatment, this drug might be injected into a vein or put straight into the fluid around the brain. Nevertheless, doctors use it much differently when dealing with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Methotrexate, when it’s provided for patients with rheumatologic diseases, is generally given in tablet kind and given in much, much lower doses– much lower dosages. And since less of this drug is provided to a patient, the impacts on the body immune system are much smaller. In the treatment of cancer, methotrexate is a substantial immunosuppressant, however in patients with rheumatologic diseases, it generally does not reduce the body immune system as much as it would for a cancer patient.
In severe cases of lupus, though, doctors may use chemotherapy drugs more in line with how they are used in fighting cancer. If a patient is having neurologic symptoms — where they’re having seizures or stroke or muscular sclerosis-type symptoms– then doctor has the tendency to use a much more powerful, more powerful, more aggressive medication that tends to approximate more the impacts of the chemotherapeutic.