Is there any permanent cure for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?
Q: My wife is diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She was in remission when we married. With pregnancy she got a flare up but by God's grace she delivered a baby boy. She was continuing her medicine of prednisolone, Hydroxychloroquine and her DSDNA was normal. She then reduced her dose but on testing her values it has found to shot up again. Is there any permanent or near permanent cure for SLE? Can you advise me on the do's and don'ts for SLE diagnosed people even when they are in remission.
A:SLE is an autoimmune disease with unknown cause. Flare-up of disease related to pregnancy is well known in patients with SLE. In the absence of a known cause, question of cure does not arise; at least at the present time. Large number of research scientists are working on finding out its cause so that better medicines become available for the control of this disease and, sometime in future, a cure could be found. For the time being, regular follow-up under a good rheumatologist would be the right way to deal with this problem. The medicines she is getting are the standard medicines for SLE. DHEA, regular folic acid, statins (atorvastatin) are some of the new things that may be considered. Methotrexate is excellent if the patient has inflammatory synovitis (inflammatory polyarthritis). These drugs help in reducing and quite often successfully stop steroids completely.