Can the medicines cause the sysptoms?
I was told at 23 I might have Lupus but no major symptoms really developed until after menopause at around 51. Last Decemebr (2005) the doctors saw enough indicators to send me to a rheumotologist and he decided to put me on plaquenil and a low dose of prednisone for about 6 weeks. I ended up getting better and worse several times, on and off prednisone, ending in the hosptial having to have a pericardial window because I had pericarditis so bad along with pluresy. When I came out he added Imuran which I felt didn't do anything while I continued to feel worse. He then gave me Cellcept. Now I can hardly walk. The arthritis in my hips, ankles and hands has gotten "markedly worse" according to the doctor and he switched from Cellcept to Methotrexate. That was two weeks ago and I feel worse yet! I was just wondering if anyone has ever heard of someone having a drug induced Lupus from plaquenil? As bad as I feel I told the doctor I really just don't want to take anything since nothing seems to help.
Hi. I am so sorry you are having such a difficult time. There are some drugs which can cause a drug-induced form of lupus, but I have never seen anything about any cases associated with Plaquenil. Not to say this couldn't happen, but most cases of drug-induced lupus have been associated with medicines prescribed for high blood pressure and certain types of heart disease. The fact that you are getting significantly worse instead of better does make me wonder a little if your lupus diagnosis was correct in the first place. There are many diseases and conditions which can cause lupus-like illness. So it might be a good idea to request a second opinion from a different rheumatologist, who can take a fresh look at your diagnosis and the medications you are taking.
So sorry to hear you are having so much complications with your meds. I was recently diagnosed July 2006 with Class IV Diffuse Nephritis (kidney disease related with SLE) and is currently taking 2500 mg/day of Cellcept, along with 30 mg Prednisone. My joints have been great since, very minor inflammation and pain. I also have pleurisy and pericarditis and find the combination of Prednisone & Methotrexate helped out a lot.
Might be a good idea to mention this to your rheumatologist & get hear other options for medications.