Author | Elena M. Massarotti, MD


Managing Musculoskeletal Issues in Lupus: The Patient’s Input Invited

September 27, 2008

ABSTRACT: About half of patients with systemic lupus erythematosusexperience musculoskeletal involvement: arthritis, arthralgia,myalgias,myositis, tenosynovitis, fibromyalgia, or osteonecrosis. Patientswith arthritis often have symmetrical large- and small-joint polyarthritisunassociated with radiographic evidence of erosive or deformingdisease.Treatment generally focuses on anti-inflammatoryagents, such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids. Antimalarials are commonlyused. When NSAIDs prove ineffective, limited use of corticosteroidsmay help, but patients need to be informed of the adverseeffects. Antimalarial agents usually are recommended for all personswith lupus arthritis. Shared decision making can allay concernsabout drug toxicity and adverse effects and encourage compliancewith treatment. (J Musculoskel Med. 2008;25:458-463)