Antimalarials save lupus patients’ lives
January 8, 2021 (Vancouver) – New Arthritis Research Canada study reveals systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients who take their antimalarial medications regularly have a 71 per cent lower risk of death than those who do not take them regularly and an 83 per cent lower risk than those who discontinue use altogether.
“The results of this study call attention to the need for improved strategies to boost antimalarial adherence among SLE patients to increase survival and prevent premature death,” said Hui Xie, a Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to serious organ complications and premature mortality when not managed.
Antimalarial medication is considered the first-line drug in managing SLE for most patients. These medications have been shown to improve SLE symptoms and reduce inflammation of the lining of the heart and lungs, the development of kidney inflammation, central nervous system impairment, and flares in disease activity.
“This study is one of the first to examine antimalarial adherence in SLE patients,” Xie said. “It is a big step forward in improving life expectancy for patients with this disease.”
To read the full research paper, click here.
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