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There are 2 forms of lupus:
spontaneous lupus, which occurs without known or recognised inducing factors, and induced lupus, which is caused by exposure to environmental agents, including certain drugs.
For spontaneous lupus, a distinction is made between different forms:
pure or isolated cutaneous lupus during which the damage is limited to the skin, and systemic lupus which is a disease that can affect several organs or systems (skin, joints, kidneys, heart, vessels ...).
These differences are probably explained by the fact that lupus does not have ONE "cause", but it is the consequence of several "causes" still poorly known that differ between patients. The variability of symptoms explains why the management and treatment of lupus will be tailored to each patient.
What is drug induced lupus?
Induced lupus is so called because it follows exposure to environmental agents, such as certain drugs. Lupus is then considered to have been "induced" by taking these drugs. Among these drugs, we highlight doxycycline (antibiotics prescribed against acne), sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim (another antibiotic), some antiepileptics (carbamazepine), some antituberculosus drugs, more rarely betablockers (antihypertensive drugs), and anti-TNF. The list of potentially inducing drugs is very long (see question 43). Usually, discontinuation of the "inducer" drug leads to a fairly rapid disappearance of the clinical symptoms of the disease.
Some environmental agents (in particular silica) are also likely to promote the emergence of lupus, which can in some cases be recognised as an occupational disease (see question 12).
Induced lupus follows the prolonged intake of certain medications.
Usually, discontinuation of the inducing drug leads to a fairly rapid disappearance of the clinical symptoms.