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Lupus

USE OF QUININE FOR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

04/22/2002

Question:

I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH AS YET AN UNKNOWN TYPE OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. I HAVE HAD ONE POSITIVE ANA, ONE POSITIVE DNA DOUBLE STRAND, A CONSISTENTLY HIGH SED RATE, AN ELEVATED ALDOLASE, AND HIGH C-REACTIVE PROTEIN. I GET LESIONS ON MY FACE, SHOULDERS, AND OVER THE JOINTS. I HAVE HAD THE LESIONS BIOPSIED AND THE LAST ONE CAME BACK AS "LUPUS CANNOT BE RULED OUT". THE "FLARE UPS" I HAVE HIT MY HANDS, LEGS, AND ARMS. I RUN A FEVER AND THE FATIGUE IS SO BAD IT IS HARD FOR ME TO FUNCTION. I HAVE BEEN TO SO MANY DOCTORS I HAVE LOST COUNT. I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT, DESPITE MY LAB WORK, I JUST NEED A GOOD PSYCHIATRIST AND THAT NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ME. I FINALLY HAVE A DR., WELL, SHE IS A P.A.-C THAT BELIEVES I AM NOT CRAZY. I RESPOND WELL TO STEROIDS, BUT HAVE HAD MAJOR SIDE-EFFECTS FROM THEM. SHE JUST WENT TO A SEMINAR IN CALIFORNIA WHERE SHE LEARNED JUST PLAIN QUININE IS BEING USED TO TREAT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES. IS THIS DANGEROUS? I`M WILLING TO TRY JUST ABOUT ANYTHING AT THIS POINT. ALSO, I QUESTION WHY ARE SOME DOCTORS AFRAID TO GO OUT ON A LIMB AND GIVE A DIAGNOSIS? RIGHT NOW, MY DISEASE IS BEING CALLED "POLYMYOSITIS". ARE THESE DISEASES REALLY HARD TO DIAGNOSE? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

Answer:

Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to diagnose particularly if the classical symptoms and signs are not present since they can mimic other conditions. I am not aware of the use of quinine for the treatment of autoimmune diseases it generally is used to treat leg cramps.

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Response by:

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