Medication belonging to the corticosteroid class that includes methylprednisone, prednisone and dexamethasone reduce the inflammation inside the brain and spinal cord.

Prednisone and methylprednisone are both administered orally. They follow a treatment that relies on a high dose of intravenous methylprednisone for about four days during the attack of MS (IV treatment).

The purpose of corticosteroids use

The medicines of this class are very effective against acute attacks of MS and acute optic neuritis problems.


Corticosteroids decrease the severity and frequency of MS symptoms and drive to a more rapid recovery, but they were not proved to stop or diminish the progress of the disease.

In case of optic neuritis attack, IV methylprednisone is the first step of the treatment. Then, oral administration of prednisone follows; used alone, this medicine can increase the probability of another optic neuritis episode.

Side effects

On short term, corticoids generate a small number of side effects. some of these are:

* – Insomnia

* – Agitation and anxiety

* – Depression.

Once the treatment is interrupted, so are the side effects.

High doses or long term treatment involving corticosteroids generate much more severe side effects:

* – Face swelling and weight gain

* – Diabetes or other blood sugar problems

* – Osteoporosis

* – Hypertension

* – Cataracts

* – Stomach and intestinal bleedings

* – Decreased resistance to infections

* – Paranoia, psychosis and serious agitation

* – The death of the tissue of bones because of insufficient blood supply

These effects rightfully worry people with frequent attacks of MS, that desperately need them.

General information

Corticosteroids that are administered intravenously (the IV treatment) have less side effects and act more rapidly than the oral forms. However, the treatment with IV methylprednisone is often effectively followed by the one using oral methylprednisone. The doses are gradually reduced by the end of the treatment to encourage the organism’s own production of corticosteroids.

One disadvantage of this treatment is that it doesn’t suit every person that needs it. In some of the cases, long term use determines an efficiency loss.

4 thoughts on “Discoid Lupus Symptoms Signs

  1. Connie C

    How can something like this discoid lupus be in the intugmentary(skin) and not be in the system ? is the skin?
    not a part of our whole and including , blood vessels, veins lymph ( the skin is a living organ too) Dr’s please ansewer this for me signed worried. Plaqnil is the Tx of choice I ve been given , but other symptoms that affect my eyes and liver also manifest.

    1. Linda R

      Lupus is a disorder of the immune system. It affects different patients in different ways. It can also change over time in the very same patient.

      When UVA and UVB light hit the skin, they alter the DNA in the cells at the surface. Lupus patients make an antibody to this altered DNA. Normal people just wrinkle or get skin cancer over time. We get rashes. When the “allergic” reaction starts it can cause rashes all over the place.

      When antibodies label something as an invader, the immune system kicks in. If the antibodies label the wrong thing, the immune system will try to destroy whatever is labeled. The other immune cells notice the “label” and surround the target, releasing chemicals to digest it and causing the formation of huge molecules called immune complexes. The chemicals cause inflammation which causes rashes, inflammation and pain.

      The immune complexes or garbage are supposed to be processed in the spleen. Our immune “garbage” carriers are also confused and a tad bit lazy. They dump the complexes wherever they want. When the immune complexes get dumped somewhere else in the body-joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, skin, etc. They cause more pain, inflammation and damage.

      Plaquenil interrupts the process of cells surrounding the targets by changing the Ph on the surface. Plaquenil is a drug that lupus patients stay on for life if they have no bad side effects. It’s not like taking an ibuprofen and a headache going away. Plaquenil must be maintained in order to do its work.

      You do not say what your eye and liver problems are. Liver problems can be caused by many things-lupus, medications, other disease. Lupus can affect the eyes, and so can plaquenil. Very rarely, patients get what is called chloroquine retinopathy. If you get your eyes checked every six months and have a “field of vision” test you will be fine. The chances are very small that plaquenil will cause damage. If it does, the damage is very, very slow. The six month eye exam will pick it up. If you stop the drug, you stop the damage.

  2. karen

    polymorphous light eruption?
    Does anyone have this. If so what are your symptoms? I was just diagnosed with this yesterday. Its a reaction to sunlight uva and I have been in the sun for 30 years with no problem, I’m 41 and first gettining it now! They say it could be a sign of discoid lupus erythematosus. Please anyone let me know if you have some info or what your symptoms are. I read up on the internet but I would like to hear from someone with this condition.

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