Lupus: Is it forever?

“Yes, lupus is a lifetime disease,” says Dr. Ma. Theresa Collante, a pediatric rheumatologist at Westlake Medical Center. “Once you’re diagnosed with lupus, you’ll carry it until old age.”

But it’s not as dire as it sounds. Although there is no cure for lupus yet, there are treatments for it. Length of the treatment period depends on what part of the body is affected. 


A kidney affected by lupus is called lupus nephritis, and treatment for it usually lasts 6 to 12 months, with some lasting up to 24 months due to the medicines used. The maintenance drug for treating major organs is called hydroxychloroquine.  


People with lupus usually show symptoms that include feeling easily fatigued, recurring fever, and hair loss. The most common symptom is malar rash, or typically called butterfly rash. It appears on the face of lupus patients. 


Dr. Collante adds that the most important drug for lupus is steroids, which are also called prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone. Lupus patients who take steroids are also advised to take medications for high blood if they have kidney problems or medication for convulsion if their brain is affected.  When it comes to supplementation, lupus patients usually need calcium and vitamin D but should talk to a rheumatologist first before taking them. 


“While treatment for lupus is based on the medication being taken, it’s still very important for lupus patients to change their lifestyle to manage their condition. This means eating healthy, engaging in exercise, and getting enough sleep,” Dr. Collante notes.


“They should also remember to monitor their response to the medication, regularly visiting their rheumatologist so they can be examined personally and instructed to undergo lab tests if needed.” 


If you’re manifesting symptoms of lupus or want to know more about the disease, you can visit Westlake Medical Center. To get expert medical advice regularly, follow Westlake Medical Center at and