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Lupus is defined as being a chronic inflammatory disease that’s characterized by the body’s immune system mistakenly attacking its own tissues. The symptoms of this disease vary greatly depending on which type of Lupus a patient has and which parts of the body are involved.
While there is no known cause for Lupus and no known cure, there are different treatment and medication options for managing the condition. Some methods are more homeopathic, such as massage, eating healthy, exercising regularly and staying out of the sun. Others are more aggressive and include daily medication to combat the disease and help facilitate a normal daily life.
Some medications that are prescribed for Lupus can have drastic side effects, which in turn, can make it more difficult to qualify for life insurance at an affordable rate.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the different types of medications that are commonly prescribed for Lupus, both Systemic and Discoid, and how they may affect your ability to obtain life insurance protection.
How Lupus Can Be Treated with Medication
Once a person has been diagnosed with Lupus, there are a number of medications that may be used for treatment. As an autoimmune disease that can affect different parts of the body, Lupus can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Depending on which medication(s) you’re prescribed, you may experience a range of side effects.
The medication that’s prescribed for Lupus ranges from basic, over the counter medicine, to prescriptions that can only be given with a doctor’s order. The most common medicines used for this condition are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs.
Common Medications for Lupus
Over The Counter Medications
- Ibuprofen/Aspirin – Works as a pain, fever, and swelling reducer (such as Advil or Motrin)
- Acetaminophen – Treatment of pain, but does not help with inflammation (like Tylenol)
- NSAIDs – Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs relieve some Lupus symptoms by reducing the inflammation responsible for stiffness and discomfort in muscles, joints, and other tissues. NSAIDs are milder than other Lupus medications and can be taken alone to treat a mild flare or in combination with other drugs.
- Anticoagulants – Assists with blood clotting by thinning out the blood, which affects some Lupus patients.
- Anti-Malarial Drugs – Anti-malarials like Plaquenil are the key to controlling lupus long term. Some patients are even on them for the rest of their lives. They can be used in combination with steroids and other medications, which helps reduce the dosage(s) of other drugs. Antimalarials work to treat and/or control skin rashes and other lesions, and side effects are rare.
- Corticosteroids (Steroids) – Corticosteroids work similarly to the body’s hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands, mostly cortisol. These medications assist with regulating blood pressure and also help to keep the immune system healthy. It can be applied topically or consumed in pill form. One of the more common steroids used to treat Lupus is Prednisone, which is a synthetic corticosteroid and is used to treat inflammatory problems and suppress pain.
- Immunosuppressive Medications – The immune modulators are used to control inflammation and an overactive immune system. They’re oftentimes used when steroids have not been successful at keeping Lupus under control.
- DHEA – This mild male hormone is effective in treating symptoms of mild to moderate Lupus, including hair loss (alopecia), joint pain, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction. DHEA also helps against osteoporosis.
Because Lupus can develop into other medical conditions, you may have to take secondary drugs. These can include diuretics, antihypertensive drugs, anticonvulsants (for seizure disorders), antibiotics, and bone-strengthening drugs for osteoporosis.
Which Medications Can Affect Your Life Insurance Premium
The use of some medications can indicate to life insurance companies that a case of Lupus is more severe. With a serious, pre-existing condition like Lupus, insurance carriers are concerned about your mortality and the risk associated with insuring you.
Which medications you take, as well as the dosage and frequency will give insurance companies a good idea of your condition and to what level it’s under control. No matter what, it is always advised that you disclose truthfully, even if you feel it would negatively affect your ability to qualify. Insurance companies can, and will, run a prescription history check.
One reason why your medications are of concern to life insurance companies is because some drugs can cause side effects and lead to other severe ailments. For instance, steroids can increase the risk of osteoporosis and other bone complications, diabetes, high blood pressure, and infections.
Some medications that companies are concerned about include:
In some cases, the amount of medication you take for Lupus can immediately disqualify you for coverage. For applicants with Discoid Lupus (DLE), if you take steroid medication over 15 milligrams, you will most likely be declined on the spot.
But do not attempt to figure this out on your own. Since each carrier has it’s own policy on Lupus, it is best to speak with an experienced underwriter with an independent agency who can help you navigate the process.
What you need to do is obtain all relevant medical and health information, and write down a list of your medications, their dosage, and frequency.
With this information in hand, you will be ready to speak with a licensed agent that has experience in underwriting clients with Lupus.
How To Find the Best Quotes on Life Insurance with Lupus
With hundreds of carriers to choose from and each one with a unique policy on Lupus, it would be incredibly time-consuming to call each one yourself. Instead, we believe working with an independent agent is the best way to go to ensure that you can get the best quotes on life insurance with Lupus. Just because you have a pre-existing condition does not mean you will not qualify for life insurance.
At lupuslifeinsurance.com, we work specifically with clients dealing with the impacts of Lupus in their daily lives. We also have a working knowledge of the types of medications you may be taking and the impact they have on your ability to qualify. When you work with us, we can assist you in finding life insurance carriers that are more apt to write coverage for your Lupus and the medication regimen that you are on.
To begin the process, just simply fill out the form on this page. You can also reach us directly should you have any questions along the way. Please feel free to call us at 877.574.9920, and one of our agents can help you make one of the most important purchases of your life.