Treating lupus

Are there effective medications for lupus beside prednisone?

There are many categories of drugs for the treatment of lupus. Those approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for lupus are: corticosteroids, including prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and hydrocortisone; the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil®); Acthar® (repository corticotropin injection)the biologic monoclonal antibody belimumab (Benlysta®); and aspirin.

Many other medications are used ""off label"" to treat the symptoms of lupus, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), immune modulating drugs (immunosuppressives), and anticoagulants.

There can be situations where corticosteroids are the best choice of therapy, however.

Medically reviewed on July 20, 2013