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  • C3/C4 Complement Levels Dropping - What's Next?

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    Old 04-10-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
    swags1992
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    C3/C4 Complement Levels Dropping - What's Next?

    I have SLE and have been taking Plaquenil for almost 2 years with ok results for the most part. When I first started on it, I was initially diagnosed with UCTD (I am ANA negative but C3 & C4 Complements were borderline low/normal), however last September the Dr. formally diagnosed as SLE. The Plaquenil was successful in bringing my C3 & C4 levels up into the normal range after I started taking it.

    My last test in December 2015 showed significant drops in both C3 (from 100 to 72) and C4 (from 24 to 10) levels. I'm waiting for results from a blood test last week and hoping to see the numbers go up, but wondering if anyone has dealt with dropping complement levels after being on Plaquenil for a while and what next course of treatment might be. Just trying to get an idea of what to expect at my next appointment if my levels have continued to decline.

     
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    Old 04-12-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
    ladybud
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    Re: C3/C4 Complement Levels Dropping - What's Next?

    Welcome to the boards! You are asking good questions, and I hope I and others here can provide some help and food for thought. Your dropping complement levels indicate you have increasing inflammation going on right now. This can precede or occur during a "flare". Placquenil is the first level drug for treatment for lupus, and there are other steps upward in potency that may help you more. It sounds like your symptoms are still present to some extent. Another drug can be added to the Placquenil to help suppress inflammation and help you feel better. I would discuss this with your rheum. It is important to consider labs as part of the picture, as how you feel is extremely important. I would aim for getting your symptoms under the best control you can, and your complement levels should come back up to normal.

     
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    Old 04-12-2016, 09:08 AM   #3
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    Re: C3/C4 Complement Levels Dropping - What's Next?

    Thanks for your reply! I actually saw my Dr. this morning and good news—my latest labs looked better! Whew! Still have a ways to go, but numbers are going in the right direction. I've been trying to exercise more over the past few months even though some days are harder than others, I keep telling myself, every little bit counts. I've also been taking turmeric and some other anti-inflammatory herbs and this appears to be helping. He told me he could tell that I had been working hard to get the levels up. No changes to my meds for now. He's going to run Sjogren's Syndrome tests with my next round of labs because extreme dry eyes and mouth is my most recent nagging complaint. I swear, sometimes it feels like every day a new symptom, ache or pain appears. Guess this is a new normal I'm still trying to adjust to. Hoping I can find support here and give support as well.

     
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