How Is Lupus Nephritis Treated?

While there is no treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration specifically for lupus nephritis at this time, commonly used unapproved medications may include:

  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are used to stop inflammation of the kidneys.
  • Immunosuppressive therapies: These work by suppressing the immune system to keep it from attacking and damaging your kidneys.

Aurinia does not promote or support the use of unapproved therapies for treatment of lupus nephritis.

Because lupus nephritis can also cause high blood pressure in some people, your healthcare provider may give you one or more blood pressure medicines. These medications may not only lower blood pressure, but may also slow the progression of kidney (renal) disease. Common blood pressure medicines include:

  • ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): these may help protect your kidneys, slowing the progression of kidney disease.
  • Diuretics: these help the kidneys remove fluid from your body.
  • Beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or other blood pressure medications may also be needed.

Always talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

Goals of Treatment for Lupus Nephritis

The main goals of treatment are to:

  • Control kidney inflammation and help preserve kidney health.
  • Reduce treatment-related side effects.
  • Prevent flare-ups of lupus nephritis symptoms.

Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent long-term kidney damage. It is also important when taking treatment to monitor your dose of steroids and to work with your rheumatologist and/or nephrologist to manage the amount of protein in your urine (proteinuria).

Be sure to talk to your doctor(s) if you have any questions.

One study found that after 24 weeks of treatment, 9 out of 10 people still showed signs of kidney disease. Fortunately, clinical trials for new potential treatments specific to lupus nephritis are underway and may one day offer hope of new treatments for patients. Learn more about clinical trials for the potential treatment of lupus nephritis.

Guide to Talking with Your Doctor

Make the most of your healthcare appointments. Download this helpful discussion guide and bring it with you to your next doctor's visit.

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