Hormone treats autoimmune disease

5:51pm, February 24, 2003

From Toronto, at the 82nd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society

A medication combining the drug prasterone and the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, stabilizes or improves symptoms of the autoimmune disease lupus, according to a study from a company in California.

People with systemic lupus erythematosus suffer severe immune responses against their own body. Symptoms include skin rashes, arthritis, muscle pain, and sometimes organ damage.

Among 265 women with mild to moderate lupus, 132 receiving the drug combo, called GL701, reported fewer flare-ups of their disease than 133 women receiving a placebo, says Kenneth E. Schwartz of Genelabs Technologies in Redwood City, Calif.

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