MCTD, Lupus, and several other auto-immune diseases are often described as "over-active immune systems", where much of the pain and inflammation is when the overactive immune system randomly decides to attack a normally-functioning part of the body. The immuno-suppressants are used to bring the over-activity back to a normal level.
Neither Plaquenil nor Cortico-steroids are immuno-suppressants.
The next medications used after Plaquenil and Prednisone are generally either Cellcept, Imuran, or MTX. Are these the medications you are saying you don't think are the answer?
For me, Cellcept was the "miracle drug" that made my disease "quiet".
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002DIAGNOSING LUPUS & HW's LUPUS 101
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde