Lupus Syndrome is a chronic, long-lasting autoimmune disease whereby the patient’s immune system, for unknown reasons, becomes hyperactive creating antibodies which, instead of protecting the body from bacteria and viruses, attack the person’s own body tissues. This attack results in inflammation and brings about symptoms. SLE is a disease with many manifestations, and each person’s profile or list of symptoms is different. SLE can mimic other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or fibromyalgia symptoms (especially fibromyalgia pain), making it difficult to diagnose the syndrome.
Discoid Lupus, also known as Cutaneous Lupus, affects the skin.
Systemic Lupus attacks multiple systems in the body which may include the: skin, joints, blood, lungs, kidneys, heart, brain and nervous system.
Drug-induced Lupus which may develop after taking certain prescription medications. The symptoms generally disappear after the drug is discontinued.
What Is Drug-Induced Lupus?
Systemic SLE is irreversible, whereas drug-induced lupus generally is reversible. The symptoms of drug-induced SLE generally do not include kidney or central nervous system involvement.
What Drugs Are Most Commonly Associated With Drug-Induced Lupus?
The following medications have definitely proven to be associated with drug-induced SLE: Procainamide (used for heart rhythm abnormalities), Hydralazine (used for high blood pressure), Isoniazid (used for tuberculosis), Quinidine (used for heart rhythm abnormalities) and Phenytoin (used for seizures). There are other drugs which might possibly be associated with drug-induced SLE, but at this point there is no definite proof.
What Can Trigger SLE?
It is believed that there are certain triggers for the onset of SLE, or cause the syndrome to flare up, these include: ultraviolet light, certain prescription drugs and antibiotics, infections or viruses, and hormones and stress.
The Symptoms of SLE
Fatigue - Fatigue is one of the most common and certainly one of the most prominent symptoms of lupus and fibromyalgia.
Aches and Pains - The majority of patients suffer at some stage from joint and muscle pains, another common symptom of Fibromyalgia.
Fevers - Fever is usually a feature of a flare up of the disease.
Rashes - A wide variety of skin rashes occur.
Hair Loss - Hair loss is one of the most important features.
Headaches - Headaches are a major feature. In some patients a history of headaches or a typical migraine go back to the patient’s teens and pre-date the diagnosis by many years.
Depression - Depression is an important symptom of lupus and fibromyalgia. It is sometimes simply attributed to ‘being unwell’ or having tiredness and pain.
General Symptoms - As almost every organ in the body may be affected at some time, the symptoms and signs are vast and can include irritation of the eyes (sometimes associated with dry eyes), mouth ulcers, chest pain (pleurisy, for example, is important in active lupus), weight loss and ankle swelling.
We want you to have a better understanding of the connection between fibromyalgia and lupus. We hope you will find valuable strategies that will help diminish your symptoms.