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Lupus

Possible Infection from Immunosuppressives

11/17/2000

Question:

I`ve been on steroids for the treatment of lupus for three years and was recently put on 100 mgs of Imuran (in conjunction with the steroids..10mgs per day) for the treatment of possible kidney involvement. I feel a lot better, with the exception of a tingling, burning, itching sensation that comes and goes in my toes, and is constant in my right thumb (so much so, that my rheumatologist gave me a wrist splint to wear for the pain). My question: I cut this very same thumb peeling onions over a month ago and even though the outter womb has healed, the thumb still hurts as if I cut it today (burning sensation with a little bit of itching). Should I be concerned that I may have caught an infection from the cut, especially being on immunosupressives, or am I over-reacting? Please help me. I really can`t take this daily pain anymore and it`s preventing me from doing normal functions (i.e. I had to type this message with a pencil). Please help...

Answer:

Without examining you there is no way that I can tell if you have an infection. I would suggest that you have your physician evaluate you for this.

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Response by:

Anne-Barbara Mongey, MD
Formerly, Director, Arthritis Clinic, Univerity Hospital
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati