Author: Alex Thompson

Drug-induced lupus erythematosus: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

what is drug induced lupus

Symptoms of drug-induced lupus may start from 1 month to over 10 years after a person starts taking medication. In some cases, healthcare professionals may have difficulty identifying the medication that has caused the condition due to the delay in the onset of symptoms. Drug-induced lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by a reaction to a medicine. If symptoms are severe, your doctor may consider prescribing corticosteroids or NSAIDs to help control inflammation. Topical corticosteroids can be used on the skin rash, if needed.

  1. A typical sign of lupus is a red, butterfly-shaped rash over your cheeks and nose, often following exposure to sunlight.
  2. Typically, after a person stops taking the medication, the symptoms of drug-induced lupus improve within a few weeks, and blood tests reveal a return to their natural state.
  3. Whites develop drug-induced lupus 6 times more often than African-Americans, but African-Americans tend to have more severe symptoms.

When the disease is active, you should wear protective clothing and sunglasses to guard against too much sun. Make your tax-deductible gift and be a part of the cutting-edge research and care that’s changing medicine. Read on for a list of drugs that can cause lupus, how it’s diagnosed, and what you can expect if you have it. There are about 15,000 to 20,000 new cases of drug-induced lupus diagnosed each year in the United States, usually in people between 50 and 70 years old.

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Whites develop drug-induced lupus 6 times more often than African-Americans, but African-Americans tend to have more severe symptoms. Other names for this condition are drug-induced lupus erythematosus, DIL, or DILE. SLE is a chronic condition that can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including internal organs such as the kidneys or lungs.

Most people with lupus have mild disease characterized by episodes — called flares — when signs and symptoms get worse for a while, then improve or even disappear completely for a time. A laboratory test called the antinuclear antibody panel (ANA) is used to check your blood for histone-DNA complex antibodies. The presence of these antibodies suggests a diagnosis of drug-induced lupus.

The most crucial treatment is for a person to stop taking the medication that triggers the condition under the supervision of their doctor. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus. If you were to start taking that drug again, your symptoms would return. Your doctor will work with you to find a substitute for the medication that caused the problem. Even though more females get SLE than males, there’s no real difference when it comes to drug-induced lupus.

what is drug induced lupus

If you take prescription medications and have symptoms of lupus or other drug reactions, see your doctor right away. Unlike typical drug side effects, symptoms of drug-induced lupus don’t happen right away. They may not start until you’ve been taking the medicine continuously for months or years.

When you go outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face. Keep your arms and legs covered, and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 55. Be sure to tell your doctor about all your medications because this is an important clue. A correct diagnosis is crucial because if you keep taking the drug, your symptoms will keep getting worse. While the symptoms of drug-induced lupus are similar to those of systemic lupus, only rarely will any major organs be affected.

You may feel these as soon as 3 weeks after you start taking the drug. But usually, it takes from several months to 2 years of regular use before you have symptoms. This article explores the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of drug-induced lupus. If you have a skin rash, it’s really important to avoid the sun.

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Most of the time, drug-induced lupus erythematosus is not as severe as SLE. The symptoms often go away within a few days to weeks after stopping the medicine you were taking. Rarely, kidney inflammation (nephritis) can develop with drug-induced lupus caused by TNF inhibitors or with ANCA vasculitis due to hydralazine or levamisole. Nephritis may require treatment with prednisone and immunosuppressive medicines. Typically, after a person stops taking the medication, the symptoms of drug-induced lupus improve within a few weeks, and blood tests reveal a return to their natural state. To diagnose the condition, a doctor may order different tests and perform a physical exam.

Some people who have lupus due to quinidine or hydralazine may test ANA-negative. The symptoms will typically recede within weeks after a person stops taking the triggering medication. Symptoms are similar to those of another autoimmune condition called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and include muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and rash. It usually takes several months or even years of continuous therapy with the medication before symptoms appear. With most of the other drugs the risk is less than 1% and usually less than 0.1% of those taking the medication will develop drug-induced lupus. To diagnose drug-induced lupus, a doctor may perform a physical examination to check for swollen and tender joints and skin rashes.

Not everyone who takes these drugs will develop drug-induced lupus. The health care provider will do a physical exam and listen to your chest with a stethoscope. The provider may hear a sound called a heart friction rub or pleural friction rub. Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.

By comparison, symptoms of drug-induced lupus tend to be milder and major organs aren’t usually affected. Symptoms generally resolve within months of stopping the medication. Drug-induced lupus is an autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to certain medications. Cancer immunotherapy drugs such as pembrolizumab can also cause a variety of autoimmune reactions including drug-induced lupus. Drug-induced lupus may develop from 1 month to over 10 years after a person starts taking the triggering medication.

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To determine which drug triggers drug-induced lupus, a person may have to stop certain medications under a doctor’s supervision and note changes. A doctor may suggest supervised “drug holidays,” in which a person stops specific drugs for several months at a time. There is no specific test to identify which drugs may be the cause of the condition, except for noting improvements in symptoms as a person stops and starts particular medications. This can be challenging, especially if a person takes several different medications. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent.

Symptoms should begin to ease up within a few weeks, though it can sometimes take up to a year to completely resolve. Since drug-induced lupus is likely to improve once you stop taking the drug, long-term treatment is usually not necessary. If the diagnosis is drug-induced lupus, you’ll need to consult with the doctor who prescribed the drug so you can find an alternative treatment.

What is the outlook for someone with drug-induced lupus?

Taking these medications does not mean you’ll develop drug-induced lupus. Symptoms of drug-induced lupus tend to occur after taking the drug for at least 3 to 6 months. Diagnosis can be difficult, as laboratory evaluation may not always provide doctors with enough information to clearly distinguish between drug-induced lupus and SLE. In some cases, a doctor may refer a person to a rheumatologist or another specialist. A person should speak with a doctor if they think they may be experiencing drug-induced lupus.