NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — As doctors experiment using different medication to treat COVID-19 patients, people who rely on those certain drugs, worry.
For me that’s been the hardest, not being able to be the mom I want to be to them because of lupus.LIZ VILLAFRANCA, LUPUS PATIENT
Liz Villafranca has been battling lupus — a disease caused when a person’s immune system attacks vital organs — for over four years.
“Lupus for me makes me extremely sensitive to the sun,” she said.
She takes hydroxychloroquine — a drug that helps keep lupus symptoms in check.
“All the other lupus medications haven’t done anything for me,” Villafranca said. “I don’t have a choice on any other medication to take other than that.”
It’s also a drug that doctors are currently using to treat COVID-19 patients.
Although the evidence is thin, the drug has shown encouraging signs and is being used in a trial run to see if its effect on the novel coronavirus can be proven.
“Stress is something that causes lupus flares,” Villafranca said. “So if you’re stressing about this medicine, you are just like setting yourself up for a huge flare.”
What do I do?LIZ VILLAFRANCA, LUPUS PATIENT
Julie Stewart is a pharmacist at Medical Arts Pharmacy in Fayetteville.
She said to make sure the store was ahead of any possible shortage, it ordered the drug in bulk.
“It quickly became difficult to get, but we are well stocked for our current patients who are needing that for their regular maintenance medications,” Stewart said.
Stewart said she believes the worst part of any possible shortage is already over, and everyone should have easier access to it.
If you aren’t able to get your medication though, Stewart said to call around because healthcare workers are working tirelessly to make sure everyone is taken care of.
“We have treated this just like any other situation,” Stewart said. “We keep doing everything we can for our patients.”
That makes me smile. They realize it, they are taking the right measures, and the right steps to help their patients.LIZ VILLAFRANCA, LUPUS PATIENT