One Patient's Positive Perspectives

Coping with Lupus: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by taking specific prescription drugs.

Drug-induced lupus is reversible!

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) reports that “drug-induced lupus accounts for about 10 percent of all lupus cases and is caused by high doses of certain medications. The symptoms of drug-induced lupus are similar to systemic lupus; however, symptoms usually subside when the medications are discontinued.”

The great news is that drug-induced lupus is reversible!

These three drugs cause most cases of drug-induced lupus:

  • procainamide (Pronestyl)
  • hydralazine (Apresoline)
  • quinidine (Quinaglute)

For all the other 35 drugs known to cause drug-induced lupus, the risk is either low, very low or extremely rare. Some of these drugs have only been documented as causing one or two cases of drug-induced lupus.

Drugs Reported to Induce Lupus-Like Disease



Agent Risk
Antiarrhythmics Antithyroidals
Procainamide (Pronestyl) high Propylthiouracil (Propyl-thyracil) low
Quinidine (Quinaglute) moderate
Disopyramide (Norpace) very low
Propafenone (Rythmol) very low Antibiotics
Antihypertensives Isoniazid (INH) low
Hydralazine (Apresoline) high Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin) very low
Methyldopa (Aldomet) low Minocycline (Minocin) low
Captopril (Capoten) low
Acebutolol (Sectral) low
Enalapril (Vasotec) very low Anti-Inflammatories
Clonidine (Catapres) very low D-Penicillamine (Cuprimine) low
Atenolol (Tenormin) very low Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) low
Labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate) very low Phenylbutazone (Butazolidin) very low
Pindolol (Visken) very low
Minoxidil (Loniten) very low Diuretics
Prazosin (Minipress) very low Chlorthalidone (Hygroton) very low
Hydrochlorothiazide (Diuchlor h) very low
Antipsychotics Miscellaneous
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) low Lovastatin (Mevacor) very low
Perphenazine (Trilafon) very low Levodopa (Dopar) very low
Phenelzine (Nardil) very low Aminoglutethimide (Cytadren) very low
Chlorprothixene (Taractan) very low Alpha-interferon (Wellferon) very low
Lithium carbonate (Eskalith) very low Timolol eye drops (Timoptic) very low
Phenytoin (Dilantin) very low
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) low
Trimethadione (Tridone) very low
Primidone (Mysoline) very low
Ethosuximide (Zarontin) very low

Information in the above chart was supplied by the LFA in their article discussing the history, treatment and medical facts about Drug-Induced Lupus.

May 18th – Put on Purple!

Don’t forget to wear purple tomorrow – it will be POP for Lupus Day… Put on Purple!


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