International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 684–692 | Cite as

Optimizing pharmacotherapy of systemic lupus erythematosus: the pharmacist role

  • Maryam Al HussainiEmail author
  • Emad I. Hammouda
  • Ahmed E. Hammouda
Review Article


Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body. The management of the disease includes nonpharmacotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Aim of the review To provide an up-to-date review of the etiology, epidemiology, clinical features, diagnostic findings, and treatment options for SLE. Methods Data source: A PubMed search of English language journals using a combination of words—elderly, SLE, late onset SLE, etiology, screening, diagnosis, or treatment to identify original studies, guidelines, and reviews on SLE, SLE, late onset SLE published between 2000 and present. Overall, original studies, clinical reviews, references, and guidelines were obtained and evaluated on their clinical relevance. The literature included guidelines and considerations for the etiology, diagnosis, screening, and management of SLE, late onset SLE. Results SLE is a chronic autoimmune disorder, the exact etiology of which is unknown. SLE predominately affects younger women; however, it is reported to occur in up to 20 % of patients 50 years or older. In patients with SLE, nearly every system in the body is affected with varying degrees of severity ranging from subclinical to fatal. The hallmark feature of SLE is the production of autoantibodies directed primarily against nuclear antigens, but also against cytoplasmic components of cells. Conclusion The diagnosis of SLE is based on criteria set by the American College of Rheumatology. Management is individualized and depends on presenting symptoms and reducing the likelihood of permanent damage to organs and tissues.


Elderly Geriatrics Late onset systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic lupus erythematosus Treatment 



Alanine transaminase


American College of Rheumatology


Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors


Anti-deoxyribonucleic acid


Anti-doublestranded deoxyribonucleic acid


Anti-La Sjorgren syndrome type B


Anti-Ro/Sjorgren syndrome type B


Antinuclear antibodies


Anti ribonucleoprotein


Anti-Smith antibodies


Aspartate transaminase


Complete blood count






European league against rheumatism




Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Systemic lupus erythematosus


Conflicts of interest

All authors stated that there is no conflict of interest in this study.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Al Hussaini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emad I. Hammouda
    • 2
  • Ahmed E. Hammouda
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health SciencesPublic Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET)KuwaitKuwait
  2. 2.Pharmacy DepartmentTawam Hospital in Affiliation with John Hopkins MedicineAl AinUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyGerman University of CairoCairoEgypt

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