Lupus is an autoimmune disease that may appear in children, especially in the adolescent and teen years. It can cause a variety of mild to severe symptoms. Diagnosing lupus early is important, as prompt treatment can reduce symptoms and prevent the chronic inflammation that can damage the kidneys, lungs, and other organs.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Over-the-counter or prescription-strength NSAIDS, including ibuprofen and naproxen, help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Plaquenil and other malaria drugs also reduce lupus flare-ups. They are generally safe to use long-term, with proper monitoring to manage their side effects.
Strong steroid medications such as prednisone can suppress the entire immune system and may be prescribed to reduce inflammation.
Methotrexate and other steroid-sparing drugs offer the benefits of corticosteroids with fewer side effects but can take longer to work. Over time, they help slow or stop the progression of lupus.
Certain biologics, including Benlysta (belimumab), have shown promise in treating pediatric lupus. They suppress targeted parts of the immune system.
Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)
IVIG is a blood product containing antibodies from many healthy donors. It can help replenish the immune system and may benefit some children with lupus.
Depending on the extent of your child’s symptoms, he or she may need physical or occupational therapy to strengthen muscles, improve mobility, or learn more efficient ways to perform everyday tasks.