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Antimalarials in SLE: High Hopes, New Benefits, and Caution

May 21, 2013

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is now standard first-line therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus, with most SLE patients taking it indefinitely alone or in addition to other medications.

It was not always this way. The past 15 years have seen what was long regarded as a mild drug, one commonly withdrawn after evidence of disease improvement, become more often compared to a miracle drug. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is now considered indispensible in lupus, and is thought to confer a host of previously unrecognized benefits, with new ones being discovered every year.

Prospective and retrospective observational studies have found HCQ use associated with the prevention of lupus flares, less damage accrual, prolonged survival, less vascular damage, fewer thrombolic and cardiovascular events, better renal outcomes, and skin and joint improvement (J. Rheumatol. 2012;39:1769-71). One team of investigators has hypothesized that HCQ decreases cancer risk in people with lupus (Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2007;66:815-17). But other researchers have challenged some of these studies as potentially biased and not in keeping with observed clinical outcomes.

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Click here to read the full article.

Source: Ob.Gyn.News


Antimalarials in SLE: High Hopes, New Benefits, and Caution

May 21, 2013

The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is now standard first-line therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus, with most SLE patients taking it indefinitely alone or in addition to other medications.

It was not always this way. The past 15 years have seen what was long regarded as a mild drug, one commonly withdrawn after evidence of disease improvement, become more often compared to a miracle drug. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is now considered indispensible in lupus, and is thought to confer a host of previously unrecognized benefits, with new ones being discovered every year.

Prospective and retrospective observational studies have found HCQ use associated with the prevention of lupus flares, less damage accrual, prolonged survival, less vascular damage, fewer thrombolic and cardiovascular events, better renal outcomes, and skin and joint improvement (J. Rheumatol. 2012;39:1769-71). One team of investigators has hypothesized that HCQ decreases cancer risk in people with lupus (Ann. Rheum. Dis. 2007;66:815-17). But other researchers have challenged some of these studies as potentially biased and not in keeping with observed clinical outcomes.

***

Click here to read the full article.

Source: Ob.Gyn.News



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