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Thursday, July 03, 2008 creative mind, Community Member, asks

Q: Does pain medication cause Lupus?

At the hospital after I had hand surgery from an infection, a doctor told me that pain medication may cause Lupus. Is it really possible?

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Answers (3)
Cort, Health Guide
7/ 3/08 12:34pm

I'm not sure why he would choose to tell you that! Some medications can actually cause what is called drug induced lupus erythrematosus. These medications include

  • Chlorpromazine
  • Isoniazid
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Methyldopa
  • Penicillamine
  • Procainamide
  • Quinidine
  • Hydralazine

none of which are pain medications. Only in the bottom three does the drug appear to cause this problem with  any 'regularity'. The Lupus Foundation states that 38 drugs can cause lupus but the risk is quite low from 35 of them.  None of the 35 drugs are pain medications either. which Unlike systemic lupus erythromatossus the symptoms usually disappear a few days to several weeks after stopping the drug.

knowitall, Community Member
11/ 5/13 2:25am

There are many anti-convulsants on the list of 38, anticonvulsants such as Neurontin and Tegratol.  While it's unlikely that you were given these in the hospital for short term pain relief, these are certainly used more for their pain-relieving properties than for epileptic treatment.  Neurontin is used for neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy, and tegratol is a front-line drug for trigeminal neuralgia - both are in fact.  Both are prescribed for long term usage for chronic pain management, so they ARE pain drugs, just not opiates.

preciousboo66, Community Member
1/ 7/09 6:46pm

Hi Creative Mind, In responce to your question, I have been living with Lupus for many years now, I was diagnosed with it in 1999, and my Rhumatologist thinks that I have been living with it for longer that that, but in all of the Doctors I have talked to, litrature I have read, I have heard there are a few different types of Lupus, well it's either 3 or 4 that I have heard of and read about, and the type that is drug induced of the drugs that I have read that can cause this, I don't remember any of them being any type of pain medication, narcotic or non narcotic. Usually with the drug induced type its said that once you came off of the medication that you are taking, the symptoms go away. But I am not and can not be 100% sure. Go the web site, and usually you can find out just about anything and everthing relating medically that you want to, it has helped me out many times. Hope this helped.

Moon, Community Member
1/ 8/09 11:09am

I have heard of this, only because I suffer from Lupus, and wonder if the 10 years of trying to find a med to help me with my Raynauds disease  could have caused it. The doctors gave me med after med after med, and nothing helped me, I decieded to stop all meds, and a few years later I was diag with Lupus!! I have checked the internet and found "drug induced Lupus" yes there is such a thing.

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By creative mind, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/05/13, First Published: 07/03/08