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997730 tn?1254278376

Did Interferon Cause me to have Lupus?

6 Years post treatment, (I was fortunate in that I was undetectable at 4 weeks in a 6 month treatment).

Now, among other issues (psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disk disease, stenosis), I've been diagnosed with Discoid Lupus.  My hair is falling out.  The rheumatologist said that interferon treatment is known to trigger lupus, but the Hep C itself could also.  

I just know that during and after the interferon, I started having psoriasis, boils on my face, other skin problems, along with arthritis (at 47 years), and now Lupus?

I am really really regretting taking the doctors advice and doing the interferon.  I should have waited for the better methods of treatment.  

Anyone else get diagnosed with Lupus post treatment?

Now they have me on prednisone and after reading about it, I'm wondering if I should really be taking that.  We just do what our doctors tell us, but frankly, I don't have a ton of faith in them any more.

Today I find out results of more tests to see if I have the full blown systemic Lupus.  Joy.
9 Responses
317787 tn?1473358451
Hi there, I am sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis.  I have heard that HCV can cause other illness's.  An acquaintance of mine with HCV died of lympoma.  He never treated his HCV, could not walk or talk at the end of his life.  He was 54

I did a search and found this page on Lupus and interferon.  It is from 2008.  I hope it helps you.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2743115/

Dee


Saying all of this
747988 tn?1396536878
I was tested for lupus post tx and have read that interferon can cause a 'lupus like disease' so yes,I would say that it is likely that the tx caused it.Autoimmune problems are associated with both hcv and interferon therapy but you know the timing...!
1815939 tn?1377991799
It is felt that people who develop Autoimmune Disorders already have a genetic predisposition to Autoimmune Disorders and that some environmental factor (infection, chemical exposure, etc.) will trigger the onset of symptoms.

Hepatitis C (as well as several other infections) can trigger Autoimmune Disorders. Treatment with Interferon can also trigger Autoimmune Disorders.

You have 2 Autoimmune Disorders, Psoriatic Arthritis and Discoid Lupus. They could have been triggered by either Hepatitis C or Interferon treatment.

I had Hepatitis C for about 37 years prior to being treated with Interferon in 2011-2012. I have Sjogren's Disease, an Autoimmune Disorder. In my case, it was the Hepatitis C that triggered the Sjogren's. I had the symptoms for Sjogren's Disease decades before I ever was treated with Interferon.

If you trust your Rheumatologist, then I would follow what he/she says. If you do not trust your Rheumatologist, you can seek a second opinion from another Rheumatologist.

Discoid Lupus does not always develop into Systemic Lupus. In fact, most people with Discoid Lupus do not develop Systemic Lupus. However, the doctors do need to keep checking to be sure that it does not develop into Systemic Lupus.

Most initial treatment of Discoid Lupus calls for Hydroxychlorquine (oral) and topical steroids. Other drugs can be added if needed. Maybe the Rheumatologist has you on oral Prednisone to calm down the lesions? Most Rheumatologists do not use oral Prednisone indefinitely (due to the potentially severe side effects such as adrenal shutdown). They use other drugs instead.

Below is a link to a good article about Discoid Lupus and its treatment. It is worth the read. You can see that there are several drugs available to treat Discoid Lupus.

http://www.jabfm.org/content/22/2/206.full

Best of luck.
Avatar universal
I see these articles that attribute various diseases to Hep C itself.  What I never see in those articles is a statement that they are examining as a group only people who are treatment-naive.

In other words, I think many times those studies examine people who have Hep C BUT who have also failed treatment before.  

Unless and until that research saying that "[Hep C triggers various autoimmune diseases]" clearly states that the researchers are studying ONLY treatment naive people (and it usually doesn't), it's to be taken with a grain of salt, notwithstanding that some folks develop autoimmune diseases before treatment.

Regardless of the cause, time to seriously engage in functional medicine and go way non-inflammatory in your diet and forget about more poison that BigPharma wants to throw at you regarding your lupus.  Eat right, and you'll feel a whole lot better.  

The pharmaceutical industry is up there with Wall Street bankers, IMO.  Just as we were taught (and accepted) for so long that Hamburger Helper is food rather than an edible food-like substance, so are we taught (and usually accept)  that doctors passing out drugs is the only medical treatment model that works.  Horse-hooey.
1 Comments
I am vegan, low thiol and although I feel better sometime - I still suffer.  Your post minimises lupus symptom 'eat better you'll feel better' is patronising .  I am against pharma and I would not let the medical model near me but heaven does not instantly appear in ones life when we eat better.
317787 tn?1473358451
Edible food like substance?  Thank you for that, I did not know.
That reminds me of cheese products which I avoid :)
Avatar universal
Well said scottie24
1798872 tn?1346164585
Scottie i underwent Interferon treatment in 2000 and again in 2010 with Pegyast and now have SLE Lupus,RA,Sjogrens,Chronic Pancreatitis,Chronic Bron.,and a host of other problems that i have never had before treatment...Bottom line i was a very in shape health nut before treatment and now can barely wipe my own ***........Please don't let anyone fool you this is from treatment.......Matter of fact Mayo Clinic now has a DX of Post Interferon Syndrome...........
7002065 tn?1443073614
Treatment experienced people bring biases into clinical trials.
People who don't have an AI disease and developed it after initial IFN treatment bias the outcomes for the trial.
7002065 tn?1443073614
that's because they only let in treatment naive ppl @scottie24
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