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Lupus Coping Corner

Learnings About Lupus Medications

Jessica Rowshandel, M.S.W.
Amy Caron
Project Director
Lupus Research Institute

I get a lot of phone calls from people with lupus about medication. Many are worried about side effects, or simply want to better understand what has been prescribed to them. Thanks to Dr. Irene Blanco, helping them become empowered with concrete and easy-to-understand information about common lupus medication has become much easier. Earlier this year, during Lupus Awareness Month in May, she hosted a webinar for us called Making Sense of Your Lupus Medication.

For those who missed the webinar or want to watch it again, please visit our website at http://www.lupusny.org/programs/support-services/lupus-webinar-archive. It is available in both English and Spanish. You can learn a lot about the purpose of each medication and tips on how to monitor and counteract possible side effects. Dr. Blanco reviews the following medications:

  • Predisone (steroid therapy)
  • Plaquenil (hydroxycholoriquine)
    Imuran (azathioprine)
  • Methotrexate (omeprazole)
    Cellcept (mycophenolate mofetil)
  • Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)
    Benlysta (belimumab)

Although I talk and hear about lupus every day, I picked up new information from this webinar. For example:

  • While Cytoxan, a very strong medication, has more side effects if taken in pill form versus intravenously, both forms work the same way.
  • Oral ulcers could be a result of lupus, but also could be a side effect of methotrexate.
  • Methotrexate (also known by brand names Rheumatrex,Trexall) must be taken with folic acid.
  • Because steroids could cause stomach ulcers, one could take medicines like Prilosec (omeprazole) to help prevent the ulcers.

Since the presentation is online, it can be accessed anywhere, worldwide through a computer with Internet and sound. Hope you tune in!

Visit our website for other simple suggestions, print brochures, catch up on our past webinars to learn more about lupus and share the information on your social media pages.

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Lupus Coping Corner

Disclaimer: The information provided by the S.L.E Lupus Foundation is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a medical or mental illness, nor be a substitute for professional care. Consult your healthcare provider if you have or suspect you may have a medical or mental health problem.

Amy Caron, MPH is a lupus patient and Project Director of the Lupus Research Institute provider education initiative.  She is not a physician or counselor.  The suggestions shared in this column are strictly opinions from the perspective of a lay person with lupus. Lupus is a very individualized illness; consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions about your care.

The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation does not provide any direct medical or psychological services nor recommend or endorse any particular treatment or therapy. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation employees, consultants, and agents shall not be liable for any claims or damages, and expressly disclaim all liability of any nature for any action or non-action taken as a result of the information generated by the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation programs and its website, as well as the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages.