Lupus symptoms and treatment guidelines in children

The child's body has its own system to fight disease called the immune system. A healthy immune system can protect your children against germs and disease. But in some children it does not work properly. When this happens, someone may have an autoimmune disease known as Lupus. This disease attacks healthy cells that causes children will easily fall, weak or nauseous. So as parent you should get some knowledge about the symptoms of lupus in order to give a proper treatment for your children as soon as possible.

Lupus symptoms and treatment guidelines in children

What is Lupus?

Lupus, or in medical terms is called Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a type of chronic autoimmune disease that can affect several organs: skin, joints, blood to the kidneys, brain and other internal organs.

Symptoms of Lupus in children

Symptoms of lupus is very diverse. Many patients with lupus who just feel some mild symptoms for a long time and then suddenly experienced a severe attack.

Although the symptoms of SLE vary, there are three main symptoms are generally always arise, among others:

  • Extreme tiredness

This is the most common symptom in lupus patients often complain. Extreme tiredness are very disturbing and inhibits the activity. Many people who claim that this phenomenon is the biggest negative impact in their lives. Extreme tiredness persists even after the patient rested.

  • Skin rash

Skin rash which is characteristic of Lupus is a rash that spreads on the nose and cheeks. This phenomenon is known as a butterfly rash because of its shape resembling butterfly wings.
Other body parts may be covered with a rash are the hands and wrists. Rashes on the skin due to Lupus may be marked permanently and is worse when exposed to sunlight due to photosensitivity reactions.

  • Pain in the joints

Another major symptom of Lupus is pain. These symptoms generally appear in the joints of hands and feet of the patient. The pain also may be able to move quickly from one joint to another joint.
generally does not cause permanent damage or defects in the joints. That is what distinguishes SLE from other diseases that also attacks the joints.

Other symptoms that might arise

There are a variety of other symptoms that may appear in addition to the main one. But not all of these symptoms will be experienced by the patient.
Here are other symptoms that may be experienced with patient.

  • Recurring thrush.
  • High fever (38ºC or more).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes.
  • Headache.
  • Hair loss.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Chest pain.
  • Memory loss.
  • Shortness of breath due to inflammation of the lungs, the impact to the heart, or anemia.
  • The body stores excess fluid, causing symptoms such as swelling of the ankles
  • Fingers and toes that turns white or bluish when exposed to cold or because of stress (Raynaud's phenomenon).

Treatment of Lupus in children

Lupus can not be cured. The goal of treatment available is to reduce the level of symptoms, to prevent damage to internal organs, as well as minimizing the impact on the lives of patients.

Avoid Sun Exposure
Protecting skin from the sun is important for Lupus patients. Skin rashes experienced by patients with Lupus may worsen if exposed to sunlight.

Steps that can be done is:

  • Wearing clothing that covers all parts of the skin.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses.
  • Applying sunscreen high dose so that the skin is not sunburned.

However, not all people with lupus are sensitive to sunlight. There is also no need to apply the steps above.

Special treatment may not be needed by patients with with mild symptoms, but they are generally still need medication to manage the symptoms. Here are the drugs that may be needed by patients with Lupus.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Joint or muscle pain is one of the main symptoms of Lupus. Doctors may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce these symptoms.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is a painkiller that can reduce the inflammation that occurs in the body. kind of drugs are generally given physicians in patients with Lupus include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and piroxicam.

These types of drugs (especially, ibuprofen) has been sold and can treat joint or muscle pain that is mild. But you need prescription medications if you experience joint or muscle pain is more severe.

Lupus patients also should be aware that these drugs are not suitable if they are being or have had gastric disorders, kidney, or liver. These drugs also may not be suitable for people with asthma.

In addition, children under 16 years old should not take aspirin. Consult the doctor to find a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is suitable for them.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug consumption or long-term high doses can cause bleeding inside because of damage to the stomach wall. Therefore, doctors will monitor the condition of patients with Lupus who should take it for long-term care. If these complications occur, the doctor will recommend other options.


Corticosteroids reduce inflammation quickly and effectively. These drugs are usually given by a doctor if Lupus patients experiencing severe symptoms or attacks.

Corticosteroids are always given the lowest effective dose. High doses and long-term consumption of these drugs can cause side effects that include bone thinning, thinning of the skin, weight gain, and high blood pressure increase.

How to minimize the side effects of steroids is to adjust the dose of steroids with disease activity while controlling it effectively. As long as you follow the recipe and supervised by a doctor, corticosteroids include drugs that are safe to use

To control symptoms and attacks, the early stages of this administration may be high dose. Then the dosage is reduced gradually as the condition of the patient improved.


Besides once used to treat malaria, the drug is also effective in treating some of the main symptoms of SLE. Among them:

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rash

Doctors generally encourage the consumption of these drugs for long-term for people with Lupus. The aim is to:

  • Prevent a severe attack.
  • Controlling the symptoms.
  • Prevent the development of serious complications.

The effectiveness of regular hydroxychloroquine will be felt with Lupus after taking over 1.5-3 months.

But all remained drug has side effects, including hydroxychloroquine. Among these are indigestion, diarrhea, headache, and rash.

These drugs also have side effects more serious, but very rare. For example, it is estimated there is a risk of 1: 2000 between Lupus patients taking these drugs may experience eye damage. Because it is so rare, general eye exams are not required for all lupus patients who take this drug.

Immediately consult your doctor if you have visual impairments for taking hydroxychloroquine.
immunosuppressant drugs

The workings of this drug is to suppress the immune system performance. There are several types of immune suppressants that are usually given by prescription, namely azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and cyclophosphamide.

Immunosuppressant will relieve the symptoms of Lupus to limit damage to parts of a healthy body as a result of the immune system attack. It is also sometimes given together with a corticosteroid. When combined, they can relieve the symptoms of Lupus more effectively. The use of immune suppressants is also likely to reduce the dose of corticosteroids needed sufferers.

Immuno suppressants including drugs that are very hard and can cause the following side effects:

  • Gag.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Swelling of the gums.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Convulsions.
  • Easy bruising or bleeding.
  • Breakouts.
  • Headache.
  • Weight gain.
  • Excessive hair growth.

Therefore, this drug is usually administered by prescription only for Lupus patients who experience severe symptoms or attacks. Immediately consult your doctor if any side effect that was more disturbing than the benefits. Your dose may need to be adjusted.


If other drugs are not effective for patients with Lupus, the doctor will recommend rituximab. These drugs include a new type and was originally developed to treat certain blood cancers, such as lymphoma. But rituximab proved effective for dealing with autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

How it works is by targeting rituximab and kills the cell B. This is the cell that produces antibodies that trigger the symptoms of Lupus. These drugs will be put through the IV that will last for several hours. During the treatment process, your condition will be monitored closely.

Common side effects of rituximab include dizziness, vomiting and flu-like symptoms eg, chills and high fever during treatment. Other side effects may occur (although rarely) is an allergic reaction. These reactions usually occur during treatment.

Remember that the Lupus patient must always take medicine in dose suggested by Doctor even though the patient has already relieved from the symptoms. This medication is done for the maintaining purpose to prevent patient from Lupus recurrent.

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