I have SLE, so I am staking my claim on hydroxychloroquine

Politics and Insights

lupomaI can’t manage without my medication for systemic lupus erythematosus (otherwise known as SLE or lupus). Not being able to access my essential treatment places me at a significantly high risk of serious infections more generally, and specifically to covid-19 or a relapse, with severe complications such as severe pneumonia and sepsis.

I was prescribed hydroxychloroquine in 2017 by my rheumatologist following life-threatening complications when I caught ‘flu. It happened during a flare-up of my autoimmune illness symptoms. Because lupus often lowers people’s immunity to pathogens, it leaves us vulnerable to severe infections and an abnormally aggressive immune response that causes inflammation throughout the body, and damages organs – sepsis. Within a couple of days of staring with ‘flu symptoms, I had advanced pneumonia and arrived at A&E already in septic shock. I very nearly died. 

Many of the treatments used to treat severe lupus are immune suppressants. These also…

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