Skip to main content
Explore URMC
menu

Lupus

See our Patient Information Sheets!
We've put together printable information sheets in English and Spanish to answer your questions about Lupus.

Learn More

What is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune illness, meaning your immune system attacks your healthy cells and tissues. Lupus can affect many different parts of the body, including joints, skin, kidneys, the heart, and lungs. Lupus is more common in Asian, Black, and Latina women. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and serious type of lupus.

Back to top

Our Approach

Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because it can look different in different people. At UR Medicine, our experienced health care team provides education, support, and the latest medicines—some of them delivered in our state-of-the-art infusion center. We will also help you coordinate the appointments you need for lab work, x-rays, and other tests.

There is no cure for lupus. The goal of treatment is to control the inflammation (swelling) to help make you more comfortable and to prevent flares, or sudden worsening of symptoms.

Your doctor will discuss what medicines are right for you, depending on your symptoms and which parts of your body are affected.

Evaluation and Diagnosis

One of our expert rheumatologists will make the diagnosis based on your symptoms, exam findings, blood tests, and in some cases, more specialized testing.

Treatments

Medications

  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs are medicines that reduce pain and inflammation (swelling). There are many different NSAIDs. Some NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are available over the counter. Others require a prescription.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids work quickly to reduce inflammation and often used to control “flares,” or sudden worsening of inflammation. Prednisone is one of the commonly used corticosteroids
  • Antimalarials: Most people with lupus take antimalarial medications as they help treat arthritis, fatigue, and rashes. They also help prevent flares. Hydroxychloroquine is an example of a commonly used antimalarial.
  • Immunosuppressants: These medications help control lupus symptoms by making the immune system less active so that is stops attacking your body. Examples include azathioprine and mycophenalate
  • Biologics: Biologics are medications that block proteins in the immune system that cause inflammation and other lupus symptoms. Biologics cannot be taken orally. Benlimumab is an example.

Lifestyle Management

  • Healthy Eating: Food choices alone cannot treat symptoms. However, the right combination of different foods can help you feel your best overall and maintain a healthy weight. Foods rich in omega-3s and antioxidants may help control inflammation. We have prepared some materials to get you started. UR Medicine nutritionists can help you develop a diet plan that works best for you. Learn how UR Medicine Center for Community Health can help.
  • Staying Active: Staying active is an important part of staying healthy. It will improve your energy, decrease stiffness and increase range of movement, elevate mood and increase bone strength. People with lupus can safely exercise with the proper program and we have prepared some informational materials to get you started. UR Medicine physical therapists can also work with you to devise an exercise regimen that is best for you. Learn more about UR Medicine Physical Therapy program.
  • Managing Stress: Stress can cause lupus flares so managing stress is important for anyone with lupus. There’s no quick-fix cure for stress. But there are many different ways that you can reduce stress in your life and improve your overall happiness. We have prepared some informational materials to get you started. UR Medicine Mental Health and Wellness providers can also work with you to develop an individual stress management plan. Learn more about the Patient and Family Resources at UR Medicine Mental Health and Wellness.

Back to top

What Sets Us Apart

At UR Medicine, our team is committed to providing you with the very best care possible—care that is centered around you and your needs, helping your symptoms and keeping you healthy.

Onsite Infusion Center

Infusion Center at Lattimore RoadSome people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases need medications that cannot be taken at home. Two of our rheumatology clinics (Lattimore Road in Rochester and Red Creek Drive in Henrietta) have an Infusion Center. An infusion center is a room in the clinic where patients can receive these medicines in comfort and with privacy. Nurses in the Infusion Center will also provide patients with support and education.

IQ-LUPUS Program

For some of our lupus patients and their families, it may be harder to find the care and caregivers you need to manage your illness effectively. The only one of its kind in the Rochester region, our IQ-LUPUS Program helps you navigate and overcome some of the barriers you face every day. Identified patients will be contacted by one of our social workers, who will:

  • Help you find the care you need
  • Bring together and share information with your care providers
  • Help you understand the medicines you take and any unplanned symptoms (side-effects) they might cause
  • Provide educational programs that meet your needs

Lupus Education Day

Lupus Education Day is a free annual event for individuals with lupus and their families. Topics discussed include managing lupus, new trends in the treatment of lupus, and the unique challenges of living with lupus.

Back to top

Our Providers

Back to top

UR Medicine Rheumatology Locations

Phone: (585) 486-0901
Fax: (585) 340-5399

Rochester
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
125 Lattimore Road, Suite G-110
Rochester, NY 14620
Get Directions

Henrietta
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital
400 Red Creek Drive, Suite 240
Rochester, NY 14623
Get Directions

Canandaigua
Part of FF Thompson Hospital
Thompson Professional Building
395 West Street, Suite 007
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Get Directions

Back to top

Patient Education and Support

We have put together the printable handouts and videos listed below in English and Spanish to help answer many of your questions about RA and your medications. If you have concerns about RA or your treatment, talk to your doctor.

For more information, you may find these articles from the American College of Rheumatology helpful.

Back to top

Clinical Research

Our researchers are studying ways to improve treatment and quality of life of people with lupus. You may wish to help others by participating in a clinical study while receiving the newest treatment available.

To learn about participating in a clinical trial, see our Clinical Trials and Research Studies or contact us at AIR_Research_info@urmc.rochester.edu.

Back to top