I have had drug induced lupus from Remicade that has lasted far longer than doctors predicted.
My drug-induced lupus (DIL) was confirmed by high ds-DNA antibodies, high anti-histone antibodies, high anti-Remicade antibodies, and various symptoms including joint pain, weakness, bouts of fatigue, occasional brief flushing/rashes on my face and chest (though I've stayed out of the sun), etc.
I was told that the DIL should subside shortly after stopping the offending medication. We stopped the medication 12 months ago, and I am still waiting for the lupus symptoms and abnormal anti-histone antibodies to clear up. I tried taking Plaquenil twice as a treatment for DIL, but both attempts caused severe diarrhea. Since I was on Remicade for Ulcerative Colitis, medicines that cause severe diarrhea are to be avoided.
I was on Remicade for 2.5 years before this was discovered, and I wonder if that's why my DIL is lasting longer.
My Rheumatologist has repeated tests to rule out real lupus (SLE), so we're fairly certain we're dealing with DIL here. The unknown factor is whether some of the symptoms could also be caused by having an auto-immune disease: UC.
My next treatment regimen is on hold until my bloodwork for anti-histone antibodies normalizes. Then, I will likely start Methotrexate and Entyvio as combination treatment, because Methotrexate is supposed to reduce the likelihood of forming antibodies against the medication. ( I had also formed antibodies against Humira, so my doctors are not comfortable recommending another anti-TNF drug.)
In my case, the cure was worse than the original illness. For the most part, I was able to keep working a demanding schedule for four years while battling UC. The DIL was what sidelined me and forced me into medical leave. I am hoping that my next round of labwork will produce the desired results so we can make progress with my treatment and I can return to work.
Post Edited (working2Bhealthy) : 1/6/2015 1:44:25 PM (GMT-7)