Is there a problem with Sculptra and systemic lupus?

Dear Dr. Irwin, I am 41 years old and I am scheduled for Sculptra treatment in a couple of weeks with a top plastic surgeon in my area (Pittsburgh, PA). He recommmended Sculptra to adress volume loss in my cheeks and lower face. You are the only site that does not recommend Sculptra for those with Lupus. Could you please elaborate on the reasons? I have mild systemic lupus and I am currently on Plaquenil (200mg/day). I have been treated with Botox, Juvederm, and an upper and lower bhlepharoplasty in the past and have had no problems. The plastic surgeon knows I have lupus but did not tell me Sculptra would be a bad choice for me. I am now very concerned and ready to cancel my appointment! Please help me make the right decision! Thank you, Christina

The two doctors with the most experience world wide with Sculptra, Dr. Vleggar in Switzerland and Dr. Bauer in Italy, have noted that patients with autoimmune diseases, especially if the disease is active, have a higher rate of formation of true granulomas (large, red, bumps that are difficult to treat).  Why don’t you call your plastic surgeon and ask him to research this for you?  It’s possible that since your disease is mild and stable on Plaquenil, that he’s comfortable. Until there’s more data, in my opinion, it’s risky to inject Sculptra in someone with active systemic lupus.  Hope this helps.  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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