Medications used to treat lupus include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen; anti-malarial drugs, such as hydroxychloroquine; immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate and azathioprine; and corticosteroids, states Mayo Clinic. Doctors determine appropriate medical treatment for lupus based on the patient's signs and symptoms.
Doctors usually recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for treating swelling, pain and fever associated with lupus, states Mayo Clinic. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation caused by lupus, but they often produce unwanted long-term side effects. Immunosuppressants help control serious cases of lupus, but these drugs also cause side effects, including fertility problems, liver damage and an increased risk of developing infections and cancer.