The graph shows the percentage of patients with newly positive IgG COVID spike protein antibodies 2-4 weeks after their 2nd Pfizer mRNA vaccine shot

New Research: Antibody Levels After COVID Vaccine on Immunosuppressants

Some Immunosuppressant Drugs Cause Lower Antibody Levels after COVID Vaccine than do Other Drugs

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A large study was published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases showing antibody levels after COVID vaccine in patients on immunosuppressants. These drugs were taken by patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, spondyloarthropathies, and vasculitis).

Since these drugs decrease immune system activity, it is not surprising that some of them appeared to lower the chances of someone responding to the COVID-19 vaccine. However, they varied a lot in how much they suppressed antibody responses. The investigators measured the most important antibody response called the SARS-CoV-2 spike S1/S2 proteins. Antibody levels were measured two to four weeks after the second vaccine dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

Remember that infections are in the top 3 causes of death in systemic lupus. It is important to get all vaccines as per “The Lupus Secrets.”

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Lupus Tendonitis: A Common Cause of Pain in Lupus Patients

Lupus tendonitis (lupus tendinitis), lupus tenosynovitis, and lupus enthesitis: What are they?

A lupus patient with Jaccoud's arthropathy due to lupus tendinitis (lupus tendonitis) and lupus tenosynovitis
Jaccoud’s arthropathy due to lupus tendinitis (lupus tendonitis) and lupus tenosynovitis


What is lupus tendonitis?

Lupus tendonitis (for example, lupus Achilles tendonitis) and tenosynovitis are common in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The tendons are sinewy, inelastic fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to bone. When muscles contract to move parts of the body, these strong tendons enable the muscles to move the much stronger bones. The movement of these tendons in unison with the body’s muscles and joints allows us to move. To demonstrate tendons to yourself, place your left fingers on the front bend of your right elbow. Then, bend your right elbow. The muscle just above this is your biceps. The hard, long structures just below the biceps that connect to the bone below the bend are the biceps tendons. If these were to become inflamed and painful, this would be  “biceps tendonitis.” Just as lupus can cause joint inflammation, it can also cause tendon inflammation (lupus tendonitis or lupus tendonitis). Tendonitis causes pain around and between the joints of the body. SLE joint pains are commonly due to lupus tendonitis rather than arthritis. One Japanese study in 2017 showed that 94% of their SLE patients’ joint pains were actually lupus tendonitis. 80% had joint (arthritis) involvement. Many patients had both.


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