This study was done to determine whether intravenous methylprednisolone therapy given concomitantly with low-dose daily, oral prednisone would be as effective as high-dose daily prednisone in the treatment of patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) nephritis. Thirteen patients with active SLE nephritis were started on 2 mg/kg prednisone per day, considered the high prednisone phase. Therapy was continued until remission was achieved. Prednisone administration was then tapered to less than but more than mg/kg per day. On later relapse, these patients received three doses of methylprednisolone (20 mg/kg per dose) on alternate days and continued on the same daily dose of prednisone (less than greater than mg/kg per day) prior to pulse therapy; this was the methylprednisolone phase. The 13 patients were studied in both phases, serving as their own controls. After 1 month of therapy, no significant differences were observed between treatment phases as to improvement in clinical and laboratory findings. A significant increase in the serum concentration of C3 and C4 was seen both in the high-dose prednisone and methylprednisolone phases, while the serum concentration of anti-ds DNA antibody significantly decreased. Methylprednisolone therapy seems as effective as high-dose prednisone in patients with relapse of SLE nephritis. Because side effects are minimal, methylprednisolone administration may be tried as the therapy of choice for these patients.
Because blood clots can be a life-threatening symptom of lupus, these drugs thin the blood to prevent it from clotting too easily. Anticoagulant medications include low-dose aspirin and prescription heparin (Calciparine®, Liquaemin®) and warfarin (Coumadin®). In particular, if you are being treated with warfarin, you must be monitored by your doctor to be sure your blood does not become too thin. Anticoagulant therapy may be lifelong in some people with lupus. Very recent research shows that people’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to warfarin; specifically, that people with variations in two genes may need lower warfarin doses due to differences in how the body breaks down (metabolizes) warfarin and regulates the ability of warfarin to prevent blood from clotting. Therefore the dosage and administration of warfarin must be individualized for each person