I have lupus, can I fly?

Yes. Lupus does not contraindicate travel, provided you protect yourself sufficiently from the sun when you reach your sunny destination! All modes of transport are possible. In very rare cases, lupus can be complicated by hypertension in the pulmonary arteries (pulmonary arterial hypertension or PAH). There is then a respiratory discomfort during exercise, and often a decrease in oxygen in the blood. It is therefore not recommended to travel in a non-pressurised plane but all the main airlines planes are pressurised so there is usually no problem (ask your referring doctor).

For trips that would last for more than 1 month, you must ensure that you have the sufficient amount of medication before departure. Long-haul flights are known to increase the risk of phlebitis. Wearing compression socks or stockings reduces this risk.

Patients who are on anticoagulants, because they have already had phlebitis, or pulmonary embolism, are protected by their anticoagulant treatment, if it is well balanced.

For lupus patients who have antiphospholipid antibodies in their blood, it may be recommended, in some cases, to make a subcutaneous injection of low molecular weight heparin one hour before the departure of the aircraft. Your lupus doctor will advise you.



Except in special cases, lupus patients can fly. Wear compression socks during the trip, remember to drink, move regularly on the plane, and protect yourself sufficiently from the sun in case of travel to a sunny country.

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