May is Lupus Awareness Month. From 1977-2009, Lupus Awareness Month was originally observed in September. In 2009 the Lupus Foundation of America declared May would be the new official month for Lupus Awareness. Lupus is a chronic disease that affects individuals from all walks of life. It is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. Lupus can be very difficult to diagnose, because its symptoms can often look like other diseases and disorders. 

For National Lupus Awareness Month 2023 we will be taking a look at the current clinical practice guidelines for lupus and lupus-related topics. We will also recap some of the new lupus therapy and medications that have been approved in the last few years, and also what’s to come. 

Clinical Practice Guidelines:

Below is a list of various Lupus and Lupus-related clinical practice guidelines that are available.

Primary Lupus Guidelines for Lupus Awareness Month 2023:

    • European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR)
    • Published April 2019


There have been four major new FDA medication approvals for lupus since the beginning of this decade. It is an exciting time filled with optimism, as events like National Lupus Awareness Month have helped to generate extra attention for patients struggling with Lupus, which has also helped to raise funds that contribute to research for new medications. The list below shows the current medications for Lupus that have been approved in the last 3 years:

  • Benlysta (Belimumab) – GlaxoSmithKline(December 2020)
    • Treatment of adult patients with active lupus nephritis (LN) who are receiving standard therapy
  • Lupkynis (voclosporin) – Aurinia Pharmaceuticals(January 2021)
    • to treat adult patients with active lupus nephritis (LN)
  • Saphnelo (anifrolumab-fnia) – AstraZeneca(August 2021)
    • treatment of adults with moderate to severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who are receiving standard therapy
  • Benlysta (belimumab) – GlaxoSmithKline(July 2022)
    • for the treatment of adults and children aged 5 to 17 with active lupus nephritis (LN) who are receiving standard therapy. Lupus nephritis is a serious inflammation of the kidneys caused by lupus, which can lead to end-stage kidney disease, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant

Looking Ahead:

As we look ahead towards Lupus Awareness Month 2024, there will be another focused update to the Lupus clinical guidelines from the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO). Even though these guidelines were originally published in 2021 as part of the Glomerular Diseases (GD) guideline. The Lupus Nephritis section is undergoing a focused update for 2023, and the public comment draft has already been circulated. For that reason, we believe these guidelines may update again between now and next May in Lupus Awareness Month 2024. 

There are also numerous new treatments under investigation with clinical trials at various stages. Examples include: Blisibimod, Leflunomide (Arava®), Lupuzor™, Prograf®, Rapamycin (Sirolimus, Rapamune®), Rituximab (Rituxan®), TACI-Ig (Atacicept), Ustekinumab (Stelara®), Stem Cell Transplants, and more. 

That’s it for our recap of this year’s National Lupus Month 2023. Did we miss anything? If so, let us know. Also let us know which awareness month you’d like to see us cover next in our ongoing series.

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