Really good news for Patients with lupus — the first new lupus drug treatment in 56 years has just been approved by the FDA. In case you aren’t familiar with it, systemic lupus erythematosus (its formal name) is a type of autoimmune condition. Under normal circumstances, the immune system protects the body against bacteria and viruses. But in autoimmune disorders, the immune system mistakes parts of the person’s own body for foreign invaders.

Lupus can have wide-ranging and severe effects, because the immune system can attack and damage the skin, kidneys, lungs, brain, blood, heart, and joints.Treatment may include: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat arthritis and pleurisy. Corticosteroid creams to treat skin rashes. Antimalarial drugs (hydroxychloroquine) to treat skin and arthritis symptoms.

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