Send to

Choose Destination
Lupus. 2001;10(3):135-9.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

Department of Rheumatology, and Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University Hospital, CH-3010 Berne, Switzerland.


Up to 80% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for musculoskeletal symptoms, serositis and headache. This survey reviews the literature on non-selective and selective inhibitors of cyclooxygenases with an emphasis on the efficacy and safety profile reported in SLE patients. No lupus-specific data on gastro-intestinal side effects of NSAID exist. Both non-selective Cox-inhibitors and selective Cox-2 inhibitors induce renal side effects including sodium retention and reduction of the glomerular filtration rate. Lupus nephritis is a risk factor for NSAID-induced acute renal failure, but not for rare idiosyncratic toxic renal reactions to NSAID. In refractory nephrotic syndrome, NSAID have been used successfully. Cutaneous and allergic reactions to NSAID are increased in SLE patients as well as hepatotoxic effects, particularly with high dose aspirin. Whereas a variety of central nervous system side effects of NSAID are probably no more common in SLE patients than in others, aseptic meningitis has been reported more frequently. Ovulation and pregnancy can be adversely affected by Cox-inhibitors. The antiplatelet effect of aspirin and non-selective Cox-inhibitors has a therapeutic potential in patients with the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). In summary, treatment of SLE with NSAID requires awareness for the increased frequency of some side effects and close monitoring of toxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center