Corticosteroids for Lupus
Why It Is Used
Corticosteroids are used to control moderate to severe problems caused by lupus, including inflammation, pain, and tissue damage throughout the body.
Low-dose corticosteroids may be used to treat:
- Joint or muscle pain, skin rash, fatigue, fevers, and other symptoms that affect your quality of life and are not relieved by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Reference NSAIDs Opens New Window) or antimalarials.
- Severe skin rashes, which may respond to steroid creams or ointments, shots, or pills. But the skin symptoms may return when you stop using the steroid.
High-dose corticosteroids are used to treat severe or life-threatening problems including:
- Reference Kidney Opens New Window disease.
- Inflammation of blood vessels (Reference vasculitis Opens New Window).
- Inflammation of the heart (Reference myocarditis Opens New Window), tissues around the heart (Reference pericarditis Opens New Window), the tissue that lines the chest cavity (Reference pleurisy Opens New Window), or the tissues surrounding the intestines (Reference peritonitis Opens New Window).
- Anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells (Reference hemolytic anemia Opens New Window) or low platelet count (Reference thrombocytopenia Opens New Window).
High-dose corticosteroids may also ease Reference central nervous system Opens New Window symptoms such as severe headache, confusion, and nerve damage that causes problems with movement.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 10, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology