Yesterday, March 9, 2011, the FDA approved Benlysta. This is the first drug FDA approved to treat lupus since 1955. The last approved drug was Plaquenil, a drug used to treat or prevent malaria.
This is HUGE for those with lupus. Until now we have had to "borrow" meds used to treat other diseases. Chemotherapy drugs, steroids, NSAIDs, ect. work for some people but there are several who need something specifically for lupus. No, not every person with lupus will respond to Benlysta but this gives us something else to try. It gives us hope that someday there will be another med that will help even more people with lupus. Hope that maybe one day there will be a cure.
I cried when I read the FDA press release and I know I'm not the only one. I was sitting in my car waiting for J to get out of school. Matthew looked at me and asked what was wrong. He was confused when I told him nothing was wrong, I was crying because there was a new medicine for lupus. He hugged me and shouted "LET'S GO TO THE DOCTOR AND GET IT!" I told him it wasn't that easy and that right now I'm doing pretty good with the meds I'm on but this new med gives me another option if I get sicker. J gets in the car and Matthew tells her the news. She says, "Why can't they just find a cure???" She then goes on a rant (again) about us not having a cure for arthritis and lupus. I explained to her that even though we don't have a cure this is still good. It means that there is research being done on these diseases. She doesn't care. She just wants us to stop taking the "icky" meds we take.
I'm happy. I just hope that there isn't another 55-56 years before another drug is approved to treat, or cure, lupus.