Breakthrough drug to benefit Lupus patients - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/18/10

Breakthrough drug to benefit Lupus patients

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By Karin McCay| email

Edited by Kristin Beerman | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Malikah and Renee are identical twins with the same problem, they both have Lupus, which occurs when the body becomes allergic to itself.  It's a chronic, sometimes fatal disease with a wide range of possible problems.

"Difficult breathing and also extreme night sweats and had lost all my hair," said Malikah Manasseh.

But the twins have been selected to try an experimental drug called Benlysta.  If it becomes available, it will be the first drug approved for Lupus in decades.       

"It would make me extremely weak, I would have severe, severe anemia," said Renee Campbell.

Right now, most patients take steroids to help control the Lupus, which can have side effects, including weight gain, but so far, this study is showing that Benlysta can help patients feel better without taking any steroids.

"It inhibits the stimulation of B cells and, in doing so, tones down the inflammatory process," said Daniel Wallace, M.D., Rhematologist. 

Benlysta is given intravenously once a month for about an hour.  Again, it is still experimental and under review by the FDA.  There is a local support group for Lupus, if you'd like more information about the organization please call (806) 438-2162.

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