A new published paper in a professional journal provides an interesting overview on how the first drug approved for lupus, Benlysta, is being used by rheumatologists. More than two thirds say they have tried and use Benlysta. Advantages of Benlysta reported include effectiveness, less severe side effects. Lowering the need for treatment with steroids is another benefit. However, these doctors also noted disadvantages such as cost, inadequate effectiveness and the need to take intravenously.
Standard drugs like Plaquenil continues to be the most commonly used drug. Though not approved to treat lupus, Orencia (abatacept) and Rituxan (rituximab) are typically used later in treatment along with Benlysta.