When it comes to treating lupus, it helps to have a clear understanding of what you're dealing with. Refer back to this page for definitions of terms used throughout this website.
Proteins inside the body that are part of the immune system. Antibodies attach themselves to foreign invaders (such as bacteria, viruses, etc.) to keep them from causing disease.
Any substance the body recognizes as a foreign invader.
While originally developed to treat malaria, these drugs are used to treat lupus.
Antibodies that work against your body. They are produced by autoreactive B cells.
Any substance produced by the body that the immune system in someone with lupus recognizes as being foreign.
Cells that react against the body. These are the cells responsible for creating autoantibodies.
Also called B lymphocytes, these are cells in the body that fight foreign invaders by creating antibodies.
The active ingredient in BENLYSTA, this protein helps to reduce abnormal immune system activity which helps to reduce the signs and symptoms of lupus.
A treatment derived from living tissues or cells.
A specific protein necessary for the survival of B cells. Too much BLyS, however, allows the autoreactive B cells to build up in the body.
A class of medications that prevent BLyS proteins from stimulating the growth of autoreactive B cells.
The abbreviation for British Isles Lupus Assessment Group index. This index measures lupus disease activity in 8 organs/body systems.
A carefully planned investigation of the effects of a particular medicine or medicines on humans. The usual goal of a clinical trial is to evaluate a drug's effectiveness as well as its safety profile.
These medicines, often simply called steroids, are used to reduce inflammation.
A drug used in the treatment of cancer that is sometimes also used to treat lupus.
The number and severity of the signs and symptoms of a disease.
The Food and Drug Administration, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Among many other responsibilities, the FDA handles the approval, regulation, and supervision of prescription drugs.
A complex system of tissues, organs, and processes that work to protect the body from harmful foreign invaders.
Drugs that are used to suppress immune system activity.
A solution of medication injected into a vein.
A chronic disorder in which the immune system attacks the body; this can lead to inflammation. Also see systemic lupus erythematosus.
Proteins produced in laboratories that copy the disease-fighting response of your natural antibodies to a specific antigen.
Drugs that are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
Short for "Physician's Global Assessment." This is a general assessment of a patient's overall well-being, which the physician rates on a scale from "0" (no disease activity) to "3" (severe disease activity).
A physician who specializes in disorders that cause pain, soreness, or stiffness in muscles or joints. These disorders include lupus and arthritis.
A scale that includes 24 signs and symptoms that may be experienced with lupus. SELENA stands for "Safety of Estrogens in Lupus Erythematosus National Assessment" and SLEDAI, for "Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index."
The established, accepted course of treatment for a disease.