Lupus inhibitor, Belimumbab, has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for lupus. It works by inhibiting a protein called BLyS, which increases the cells that cause the immune system to go haywire. Belimumab (marketed under ‘Benlysta’) is a human antibody that mimics the ones naturally made by the immune system.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that marks the malfunction of the immune system which over-reacts in defense of the body. The result is that it attacks itself in the process and causes a host of damage to different organs, mainly the skin, joints, and kidneys.
Researchers have found that belimumab reduced lupus symptoms and flare-ups as well decreasing the need for steroids (Lupus Alliance of America, Mar 2011.) However, the FDA also reports that there are likely side effects with Benlysta, such as headache, muscle pain, infection, and the flu. It is also important to note that suicidal tendencies were higher among groups taking Benlysta. All in all, the FDA judged that the benefits outweighed the risks.
A Natural Lupus Inhibitor
Lupus inhibitors are not confined to synthetic drugs. Nature has her own but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily safer. It is always wise to consult with experts in alternative therapies when going this route. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (1993) have found that certain herbs, namely Liqustrum lucidum, Codonopsis pilosula and Homo sapiens inhibits lupus. It reduces the production of antibodies that cause lupus symptoms. It holds good potential as a possible treatment for lupus in the future.
With any treatment, patients should be observant of any side effects and be sure to keep a daily record. Each person reacts to medication in different and unpredictable ways. The more patients report any side effects, especially with a new drug, the more accurate the body of knowledge will be toward improving the treatments available to lupus patients.
Oftentimes, the medical treatment with any serious disorder is a 2-step approach: to tackle the disease itself, and then to offset the side effects that may follow. Natural alternatives, such as nutritional supplements, herbs…also acupuncture and chiropractic care, may be more effective in dealing with side effects since they are less likely to contribute another round of side effects to the chemical mix.