Help is Available
We encourage all of the greater San Diego Community to access the most up to date information on the Corona Virus pandemic for your safety and the safety of others. We recognize the challenges many of our community members are facing such as struggling to find medications (hydroxychloroquine), losing health insurance, or simply needing additional support during this pandemic.
Here are some resources for information not only on the virus and how to protect yourself, but also local resources available in our community. Please check out our links below.
Check Out These Resources
Medication - How can I pay for and how can I access my medications?
GoodRx - GoodRX provides discounted rates for a variety of medications. You can use these coupons at pharmacies near you (without needing insurance coverage).
CalRx- California Rx Card is a free statewide discount prescription assistance program. The program was launched to help uninsured and underinsured residents afford their prescriptions.
Tips for finding and obtaining your medication
Call to see if your drug is in stock. If it isn’t available, you can call different pharmacies in your area to locate the one that has your medication.
Switching pharmacies can be done quickly over the phone.
When talking with your pharmacist, inform them of your lupus diagnosis (or rheumatoid arthritis), they can prioritize your prescription refill over others. Some pharmacies may only allocate 14 day supply at this time, expressing your diagnosis, symptoms, and prevention of flares may allow the pharmacist to override their system.
Of course, stay safe when picking up a prescription. Some pharmacies have drive-throughs (so you may want to call those first) or ask if they are doing free home deliveries.
Health Insurance - I recently lost my health insurance, what can I do?
Additional San Diego Community Resources
For displaced workers in California, recently lost jobs due to COVID
For Mental Wellness during COVID-19
Food resources in San Diego still available during COVID-19
Undocumented Immigrant rights during COVID-19
Coronavirus - Stay up-to-date on all the most recent information
Stay Informed about COVID-19
As we all know, COVID-19 has altered many of our expectations, for the year. As the vaccine roll-out continues we support whatever adaptations you and your family may make, so that you prioritize your health during this time.
The CDC website has a detailed list of how you can safely celebrate with your loved ones. Check out their website HERE.
What You Can Do Before your Dr. Visit
Being prepared to discuss your health with your physician can greatly increase the effectiveness of visits, and may lead to more informative discussions regarding your health. Depending on your treatment plan, the frequency of physician visits may vary. The more prepared you are for your visit, the more information you may gain. Below is a recommendation of things to consider before meeting with and during your visit with your physician, we encourage you to write down your thoughts and take it with you to your appointment. A visit to your doctor includes more than just a conversation about your disease, but also establishing a trusting relationship.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
What do I want to gain from this visit?
What specific information do I want to learn about?
Was the previous visit beneficial? Why or why not?
How am I feeling since the last visit?
Do I feel comfortable with my physician?
Do I feel like my physician is hearing and understanding me?
Do I feel comfortable asking my physician follow-up questions?
Do I feel like my physician has the time to focus on my needs?
Questions to Ask Your Physician:
Could anything else be contributing to the way I am feeling?
What is normal for my age and gender?
What are you prescribing to me?
Is there an alternative and why do you recommend the medication you do?
What is the goal of this medication? What does a positive outcome look like?
How long does it take to know if this medication is effective?
Is there a difference between name brand and generic?
Should I follow up with you, and if so when?
What is the standard of care?
What does the lab work indicate?
What else can I do to improve my health?
What other resources would you recommend I refer to?
Sun Exposure and Lupus
Photosensitivity from ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a symptom of lupus and can exacerbate not only facial lesions, but also fatigue and joint pain. Additionally, studies have clearly demonstrated that reactions to sun exposure are oftentimes delayed by a week and can even emerge up to three weeks after exposure to UVR.
The important thing to remember is that you can continue living your best and active life with proper UV protection. A few ways to protect yourself is by:
Using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30 on a daily basis, even on cloudy days.
Reapplying sunscreen after swimming or excessive sweating.
Using protective tight-woven clothing and wide brimmed hats.
Avoiding the sun during the hours between 10 AM to 4 PM.
Learn more from the research article at the National Institute of Health
Throughout the world there is ongoing research on lupus and other autoimmune diseases. If you are interested in joining a clinical trial in a community near you or are simply interested in staying up to date on autoimmune research we recommend exploring: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/
You can navigate through the website and discover clinical trials that are recruiting or read results from completed studies. This database provides a large amount of information and also allows you to:
Search any specific indication or condition (e.g., lupus, arthritis, or even fatigue)
Search by country, location, or region
Read highlights from completed studies
Eligibility in participating in trials may vary; however, this is one way to keep yourself and our community informed on clinical research.
Know More About Your Medication
It is important for those who take medications to be aware of the information and resources available to them. There is an unlimited amount of information about medications, but knowing how to navigate through it all can easily become overwhelming.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided online tools and databases to keep you informed and is designed for consumer transparency. The FDA has a plethora of information and has resources on medication information, safety, availability, and yes, it even has a podcast.
The FDA Medication Label Database, listing over 110,000 medications, has detailed information ranging from drug usage, warnings, dosage and administration, and clinical pharmacology.
The FDA Medication Guide Database is one quick search engine to learn more about additional information appended to the drug label. Not every drug has medication guides, but for those that do, they provide additional clarifying information to ensure safe usage. You can check if your medication has a guide.