I promised that New Year’s would bring a return to more clinical articles; but as long as it is agreed that now and then we take a break. But, like all resolutions, it’s time to get down to brass tacks!
At one time we talked about medications used to treat lupus and several other autoimmune diseases; I promised to return!
Well, I’m back to complete what I started.
We’ve already spoken of medications us like Tylenol (acetaminophen) and non-steroidal antinflammatories (NSAIDs) which are often used in the early stages of disease. These include but aren’t limited to Naproxen, Aleve, Aspirin, Voltaren, ibuprofen and Celebrex.
Another ‘step’ in the treatment of autoimmunity, might be with prednisone, methotrexate, imuran, CellCept® to name a few.
Prednisone falls into that category of medications which decreases massive inflammation, the cause of many problems. But prednisone is not without it’s side effects; including, but not limited to increased blood sugar, delayed or prolonged wound healing.
CellCept® carries with it similar side effects, but not as many as prednisone. However CellCept suppress the immune system so that it won’t attack it’s own cells.
Unfortunately, because CellCept® is such a powerful immune system suppressant, patients who take it, may end up fighting infection after infection, that they normally wouldn’t have succumbed to.
Methotrexate is another medication that is also used in autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s Syndrome and psoriasis and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Methotrexate is used if these conditions aren’t responsive to other treatments.
Any discussion of medications for ANY condition would be remiss without stating the dangers of what many people feel is a relatively innocuous medication, Tylenol. Tylenol is in many over-the-counter mendication preparations so if your doctor has ordered tylenol, please do tell him what ELSE you may be taking. Tylenol in doses exceeding 3000 mg daily (the equivalent of 6 x 500 mg tablets( can be toxic on the liver.