Dehydroepiandrosterone in systemic lupus erythematosus

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2000 May;26(2):349-62. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70142-3.


DHEA has shown promise for the treatment of SLE in three controlled and several uncontrolled clinical trials, including one large multicenter study comprising nearly 200 patients. The main benefits of DHEA seem to be a decrease in corticosteroid requirements and improved overall symptomatology. Intriguing aspects of DHEA treatment in SLE that require further study are a possible bone protective effect and improvements in cognitive function. The most frequent side effect is mild acneiform dermatitis, and long-term concerns include lowered HDL cholesterol.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / physiology
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / pharmacology
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / physiology
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy*
  • Mice


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone