There is currently no cure for lupus, although many of those affected may experience remissions of symptoms between flare-ups. The goals of treatment are to alleviate symptoms, to minimize the occurrence of flare-ups, and to minimize and address the development of complications associated with SLE. To help decrease the number of flare-ups, people with SLE should get sufficient rest, exercise, and should minimize stress and avoid exposure to ultraviolet light. If someone notices that a particular substance makes their symptoms worse, then they should avoid exposure to it.
Treatments can be given to relieve pain, minimize inflammation, and to address complications. The most common drugs offered are nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen, antimalarial drugs, and corticosteroids. In more aggressive cases, immunosuppressive drugs may be used. People should work closely with their doctor and with a rheumatologist (a specialist in autoimmune disorders) to develop a treatment plan that is effective for them. This plan is likely to change over time with changes in a person's symptoms and general state of health and as new treatments become available. Women wanting to become pregnant should talk to their doctor about their health and their medications. Some treatments are safer than others for the fetus during pregnancy.