Medications for lupus, part 1

First order of business: were you my 11,500 hit??

Today we’ll start a brief overview in a series of medications that are used to treat lupus. The first line of medications are usually medications that you can buy without a prescription (over-the-counter: OTC). OTC meds for lupus are:

  • Acetaminophen or Tylenol is a good pain reliever and fever-reducer that has few side effects. However, acetaminophen has been known to do liver damage in large doses. Because lupus is an inflammatory disease and acetaminophen does not decrease inflammation, the use of acetaminophen is limited to its pain relief (analgesic) and fever-reducing qualities.
  • Aspirin decreases inflammation and reduces fevers, something that you want in lupus, right? But, aspirin can irritate your stomach, so it’s best to take it with food or milk. If you have an ulcer, only take aspirin on the ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN, because it can cause bleeding. Or, if you take Coumadin, aspirin, again, is a ‘no-no.’ (Aspirin is an anti-coagulant and taking it with Coumadin can affect your blood work
  • The third and most powerful group of OVER-THE-COUNTER  are in a class called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs. These medications work by decreasing inflammation and the pain of stiff joints.
  1. Ibuprofen
  2. Naproxyn
  3. Relafen
  4. Indomethacin
  5. Celecoxib

People tend to ‘respond’ better to one NSAID than another, so some time, finding the NSAID that works best for you can be frustrating. Because NSAIDs can easily irritate your stomach, they are also best taken with food or milk and occasionally antacids or another medication, called Cytotec.

Professional Further Education in Clinical Pha...

Professional Further Education in Clinical Pharmacy and Public Health (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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