Medical Resources for Lupus Treatments

pills

 

via The Lupus Research Alliance

Prescription Assistance Programs

If you’re having trouble paying for your prescription medications:

  1. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist: There may be generic versions of the medications you are taking or less expensive alternatives.
  2. Contact the pharmaceutical company: The company that makes the drug may have assistance programs to help you pay for the medication you are taking.
  3. Contact your insurance company: You may get a discount for a 3-month supply instead of 1 month. Or they may have other programs available.
  4. Find a Prescription Assistance Program (PAP): Common requirements for PAPs are that you must be a US Citizen or legal resident, have no prescription coverage, and must meet program income guidelines, but this varies. If you have prescription coverage and don’t qualify for any PAP, these sites may also offer a prescription discount cards.

Provides a list of PAPs by brand or generic names of the medication. There is also a searchable listing of free or low cost clinics.
Phone: (800) 503-6897
Website: www.needymeds.org

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How to Choose the Best Rheumatologist 

By Dr Thomas, author of The Lupus Encyclopedia. He is posting a 15+ series on how 2 choose the best rheumatologist-

Dr. Thomas Google Plus Article HERE

 

Lupus Study-Shocking High # of Wrong Dx’s

neverlupus

from Lupus Foundation of America:  Original Article Here

A Lupus Foundation of America study of over 3,000 adults with lupus found that 46.5 percent report being misdiagnosed with something other than lupus at the start of their journey with this unpredictable and life-altering disease. Additionally, more than half (54.1 percent) were told that there was nothing wrong with them or that their symptoms were psychological.

The data was included in a cross-sectional study, “Lupus Diagnosis: Process and Patient Experience,” released by the Lupus Foundation of America today at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting (ACR) in San Diego. The study demonstrates the urgent need to shorten the time to obtain an accurate diagnosis – so people with lupus can begin critical treatment that will reduce damage to vital organs, such as the kidneys, heart, lungs and brain.

Previous studies have shown that it takes nearly six years from the time people with lupus first notice symptoms until they obtain a correct diagnosis. Damage caused by lupus increases the likelihood of developing long-term health complications, making early diagnosis crucial for people with lupus – an important strategic objective of the Lupus Foundation of America.

“This study is so valuable because it’s the first in-depth look at the patient diagnostic experience,” said R. Paola Daly, Director of Research at the Lupus Foundation of America. “The results of this study will help us understand and in-turn, prevent the specific factors that lead to unacceptable delays in receiving a lupus diagnosis.”

Through this study, the Lupus Foundation of America sought to identify barriers that impede lupus diagnosis and ways to improve its accuracy. Nearly 40 percent of those with lupus waited more than one year from the onset of symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis. These findings underscore the importance of providing continuing medical education about lupus symptoms to both primary and specialty healthcare providers.

During the ACR Meeting (November 3-8), the Lupus Foundation of America will conduct on-site Facebook Live interviews with lupus researchers and other health professionals about the findings from their research studies. More than 35 Lupus Foundation of America funded researchers will be presenting on findings from their lupus studies. To learn more about the Facebook Live interviews, visit our Facebook event.

Kool Lupus Stuff!

 

New Study Confirms That Stress & exercise Both Affect #LUPUS in Opposite Ways

 

#LUPUS Study: “Cardiac Tamponade is Common but Treatable”

#LUPUS Study: “Cardiac Tamponade is Common but Treatable in Lupus Patients” via #LNT #HeartOfLupus

Original Article via Lupus News Today Here

Cardiac tamponade, the accumulation of fluid around the heart, affects nearly 6 percent of lupus patients in India, a new retrospective study shows.

But researchers found new risk factors that predict this condition, which may help identify patients at risk. Treatment with high-dose immunosuppressives reduced the risk for fluid reaccumulation and the need for surgery in these patients, the team reported.

The study, “Cardiac tamponade in systemic lupus erythematosus,” was published in QJM: An International Journal of Medicine. It was conducted by researchers at the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research in Kolkata (IPGMER), in India.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects several organs, including the heart. Pericarditis, an inflammation of the layers surrounding the heart, is the most common heart manifestation of the disease, affecting 9% to 54% of lupus patients. While it has a lower incidence (less than 2.5%), cardiac tamponade may also manifest.

Cardiac tamponade is characterized by the accumulation of fluids in the space between the heart and its protective membranes, leading to heart compression and low pumping capacity. But despite its severity, little is known about cardiac tamponade in lupus patients.

In a study led by Rudra Goswami, a post-doctoral trainee in the Department of Rheumatology at IPGMER, researchers evaluated the incidence of cardiac tamponade, its clinical features, potential risk factors, and treatments in a cohort of Indian lupus patients.

The study included 409 lupus patients. Among them, 25.4 percent had pericarditis and 5.9 percent had cardiac tamponade.

Patients with tamponade were older and had later lupus onset, compared to the remaining lupus patients. All 24 patients with cardiac tamponade experienced shortness of breath; 12 had increased jugular venous pressure; 11 had chest pain; and eight had low blood pressure.

All patients with cardiac tamponade had accumulations of liquid around the heart (pericardial effusion), 14 with large effusion, seven with moderate effusion, and three with small effusions.

They showed higher prevalence of pleuritis, which is an inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs, inflammation of the pancreas, and were more prone to present anti-nucleosome antibodies, a biomarker of lupus.

Additional analyses confirmed that pleuritis, anti-nucleosome antibodies, and the size of effusion were all predictive of cardiac tamponade in lupus patients.

All patients underwent aspiration to remove the accumulated liquid. Three patients required more than one aspiration due to re-accumulation of liquids, and only one required surgical treatment. The majority of patients received corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs, which were found to be effective in preventing progression of cardiac symptoms and reducing the need for surgery.

“We made a few important observations, such as the importance of concomitant pleuritis and anti-nucleosome antibody positivity in addition to size of pericardial effusion as predictors of tamponade,” the researchers wrote.

“We also feel that immunosuppression with methylprednisolone and IV cyclophosphamide are essential, especially to reduce risk of reaccumulation and surgery,” they added.