n South African Medical Journal - Article - evidence-based treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and its complications : continuing medical education

Volume 105, Issue 12
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Outcomes for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have improved during the last two decades as our understanding of the disease expands. In particular, the importance of antimalarial therapy for addressing and preventing a host of complications in SLE has emerged. Furthermore, evidence is mounting that corticosteroids, while offering excellent control of disease activity, are responsible for many of the late complications of SLE and need to be prescribed in modest doses for the shortest time possible. To achieve this, an understanding of the available 'steroid-sparing' immunosuppressants is useful. Specific attention needs to be paid to the two most important complications of SLE, i.e. infections and atherosclerotic cardiovascular events. Awareness of, screening for and aggressive management of risk factors for these comorbidities are paramount.

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