Common triggers for lupus
While a person’s genes may increase the chance that he or she will develop lupus, it takes some kind of environmental trigger to set off the illness or to bring on a flare.
The following are common environmental triggers:
- Ultraviolet rays from the sun or from fluorescent light bulbs
- Sulfa drugs, which make a person more sensitive to the sun, such as: Bactrim® and Septra® (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole); sulfisoxazole (Gantrisin®); tolbutamide (Orinase®); sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®); diuretics
- Sun-sensitizing tetracycline drugs such as minocycline (Minocin®)
- Penicillin or other antibiotic drugs such as: amoxicillin (Amoxil®); ampicillin (Ampicillin Sodium ADD-Vantage®); cloxacillin (Cloxapen®)
- An infection, a cold or a viral illness
- An injury, particularly traumatic injury
- Emotional stress, such as a divorce, illness, death in the family, or other life complications
- Anything that causes stress to the body, such as surgery, physical harm, pregnancy, or giving birth
More resources for people with lupus
from the National Resource Center on Lupus
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Medically reviewed: July 18, 2013
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