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