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    Default Newbie in Houston

    I was diagnosed with lupus in Feb 2006. I was hospitalized for about a week while the docs tried to figure out what was causing my fever, swollen glands, rash, & migraines. I believe I was diagnosed during my first flare. So far I have not had another severe flare like that again. I have been off and on relatively low doses of prednisone, and have tried Plaquenil and am currently on Cellcept 2000 (about 1 month). I have varying symptoms and degrees most of the time. Recently I have gotten small zits on most of my face and have various other rashes, aches and symptoms.

    1. What constitutes a flare? The degree of the symptoms present?

    2. Symptoms seem to get worse before my period. Does anyone do anything to lessen this or prevent this?

    3. Is there anything that helps the small pimples on my face?

    4. When do people start taking prednisone? When the severity reaches a certain level? Should I always consult my doc before starting?

    5. Does Cellcept take a certain amount of time before it starts to work fully

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    Hi Pooie95 :lol:

    Just as each of our Lupus symptoms are different, so are our flares. What constitutes a flare for me may be completely different for you. It is best that you get to know your body and pay close attention to the changes you feel before a flare. Generally, a flare is when your symptoms worsen or when the disease becomes active. Some of the most common things that trigger flares are: exposure to the sun which causes sudden development of a rash and then possibly other symptoms; an infection, perhaps a cold or a more serious infection, that does not get better, and causes complications arise. These complications may be the first signs of lupus; A drug taken for some illness can produce the signaling symptoms of a flare; In some women, the first symptoms and signs of a flare develop during pregnancy. In others, they appear soon after delivery. Many women also report that their flares are triggered by the onset of menstruation.
    Many people cannot remember or identify any specific factor that triggered their flare and the problem is that many seemingly unrelated factors can trigger the onset of the disease.

    The pimples on your face could be a lupus rash. The rashes of SLE may be divided into specific and non-specific rashes. The butterfly blush or rash is a faint or prominent red rash over the malar area and the bridge of the nose. The Subacute cutaneous lupus lesions are of two major types: ed pimples when the rash first comes out; as the rash persists, these pimples become bigger, and scales appear as the rash persists. Patients complain about the rash being very itchy. The rash usually appears on the face, chest, or arms and commonly comes on after sun exposure. The rash usually worsens after more sun exposure.
    The second starts out as a flat lesion and gets bigger by expanding outward. The center may become less red and may even clear up completely so that, after a while, this rash looks like many circular red areas with clear holes in their centers. The rash appears on the face, chest, arms, and back.

    Many of the symptoms of lupus result from inflammation in various tissues of the body. Cortisone, a steroid manufactured naturally by the body's adrenal glands, has been found to have a distinct anti-inflammatory effect. Cortisone medications made synthetically (such as Prednisone)are among the most effective anti-inflammatory drugs known. Although these drugs can cause undesirable side effects, their use can substantially reduce the symptoms associated with inflammation, such as:
    - swelling
    - warmth
    - tenderness
    - pain
    Prednisone is an extremely effective drug and is generally prescribed to control active lupus. Although many lupus patients do not need to stay on steroids continuously, those with severe disease or active and serious kidney lupus may require long-term steroid treatment. In part, prednisone acts as an immunosuppressant. The immune system protects against foreign bacteria and viruses. In Lupus, the immune system produces antibodies, which become overactive and cause undesirable effects. Prednisone suppresses the production of these antibodies. This suppression can make it slightly harder for you to fight off infection but also stabilizes the immune system if it is overactive as it is with Lupus.
    Do not start or stop taking this medicine without first talking with your doctor. You must be weened off of prednsione by to taking smaller and smaller doses before completely stopping this medicine.
    CellCept (Mycophenolate mofetil) is an immunosuppressive agent medication. Immunosupressants reduce the body's immune response. Mycophenolate works by blocking the action of a compound called inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, which is required for producing certain blood cells called T- and B-lymphocytes. These are immune cells that are responsible for regulating and triggering immune responses and thereby providing a defence against infection and foreign cells in the body. Mycophenolate is effective for treating lupus nephritis, and may be a safef and potentially more effective alternative to standard first-line treatment with intravenous cyclophosphamide. Most users report that it takes several weeks to months before they were able to see significant improvement with the drug. But, this also depends upon your dosage and your symptoms!

    I hope that I've answered all of your questions. Let me know if you need anything more!

    Peace and blessings
    Saysusie

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