Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus Treatment & Management

Updated: Jul 10, 2018
  • Author: Catharine Lisa Kauffman, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medical Care

Symptoms of drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) usually clear within weeks of stopping the culprit drug; however, residual antibodies may persist for extended periods after discontinuance of the identified causative agent. Generally, no other specific treatments are known.

If patients with DILE are given anti-inflammatory medication, this may mask the symptoms and thus potentially result in misdiagnosis. Low doses of systemic corticosteroids may be prescribed for short periods if the symptoms of DILE are severe (eg, polyarthritis resulting in debilitating inflammation in many joints simultaneously).

No specific activity restrictions are recommended. Normal activity may resume when arthralgias and myalgias resolve.

Monitor antinuclear antibody levels—anti-ssDNA, anti-dsDNA, and antihistone antibody levels—serum complement levels, and urinalysis findings. Continue to monitor cardiac, renal, and pulmonary function if any of these were initially involved.