Many patients are encouraged to never skip their medication to ensure that they can get the full effect of their medication plan. However, there are circumstances that may cause patients to skip their daily dose of medication. Some may be out of sheer forgetfulness, but it can be different for others who may intentionally stop taking their meds.
It’s been recently found that patients with lupus are more likely to skip their medication compared to the rest of the general population. The variation of lupus that researchers had focused on was systemic lupus erythematosus. Keep on reading to learn more.
Systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE, is an autoimmune disease. It’s a form of lupus that can cause the immune system to turn on its own tissues and create targeted attacks via inflammation. This can affect various organs such as the brain, lungs, kidneys, and more. It can also be visible on the skin and movement of a person.
A person with SLE will often show symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, hair loss, anemia, headaches, and more. Once the chronic condition that SLE puts a patient in is diagnosed and confirmed, physical examination and lab tests are conducted. This should help in creating a treatment and medication plan to ease the effects of SLE.
The medications used for SLE are immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory. There are also some that can be antimalarial, depending on the symptoms of lupus that are sharing and flaring up. A study published in the Arthritis Care & Research had assessed the factors that may have contributed to regular and SLE patients’ likeliness to skip their dosages.
Some SLE patients may intentionally skip their medication more than regular patients due to the cost of the prescription and medicine itself. There’s also a considerable percentage that may skip their medication due to the aftereffects that the administered drugs can cause.
Prevention of Dosage Skipping
There are several ways how patients with SLE can avoid skipping their dosage and continue their medication. Here are some tips that may help:
- Bring Up the Effects With Your Doctor. If you’re continuing to observe any form of side effects from your medication for SLE that is recurring throughout the treatment, it’s best to mention it to your doctor. They may be able to assess why your body is reacting that way to your medication and find other medicines that will be more effective.
- Discuss Lower-Cost Alternatives. It’s best to raise awareness about the costs of medications that can be too expensive while discussing alternatives with a medical professional. Don’t hesitate to ask what lower-cost options are out in the market for SLE and your symptoms.
- Use a Medication Tracker. To ensure that your daily dosages are taken, using a medication tracker may help reinforce that daily schedule. Having that reminder and monitoring your conditions will help you get right on track and avoid further complications.
In summary, it’s been concluded that many patients with SLE are skipping their medication due to a number of factors. It’s essential to find ways of preventing these lapses, though every patient should focus on following their treatment plan to help maintain their health and well-being.
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