March 9, 2020
A newly published study showed that antimalarial medications, a common form of treatment for lupus, may help prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), which can be a complication of the disease and a side effect of medications like glucocorticosteroids.
Researchers reviewed health databases in British Columbia Canada to study the incidence of systemic lupus erythematosus and antimalarials. Patients with SLE who took their antimalarial medication as prescribed were 39% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who had stopped taking their antimalarial medication. Their findings also showed that if people took less than 90 percent of the dose of antimalarial that had been prescribed, this protection was lost.
Study authors concluded, “Our study provides support for the importance of adherence to antimalarials in SLE by demonstrating protective impacts on T2DM, a serious complication in SLE.”
The study was published in Arthritis Care & Research.