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CLINICAL UPDATE: The Role of Monitoring Drug Levels in Lupus

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Jointly Provided By


Supported by an educational grant from Exagen Diagnostics.




Michelle Petri, MD, MPH, Chairperson
Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Director, Hopkins Lupus Center, Director,
Hopkins Lupus Cohort
Baltimore, MD

Laura Durcan, MD
Lupus Fellow
Johns Hopkins University Hospital
Baltimore, MD

William A. Clarke, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD


The faculty would like to thank Global Academy for Medical Education and Eileen A. McCaffrey, MA for assistance with the preparation of this supplement.

Target Audience

This educational activity is designed for rheumatologists and other healthcare providers who treat patients with rheumatic diseases.

Educational Needs

An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least 5 million people worldwide have a form of lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. SLE accounts for about 70% of these cases. HCQ is considered a cornerstone of SLE therapy. Yet nonadherence to HCQ therapy for SLE is common. HCQ blood concentrations can indicate adherence. Measuring blood concentrations combined with counseling can promote treatment adherence so that patients are able to benefit from the benefits of HCQ therapy.

Learning Objectives

After reading and studying this enduring journal supplement, participants should be better able to:

  • Describe the benefits of HCQ in the management of SLE
  • Apply an evidence-based method for calculating HCQ dosage based on actual body weight
  • Summarize the controversy about ophthalmology monitoring for HCQ retinal toxicity
  • Describe the evidence linking HCQ blood concentrations to disease activity and treatment adherence


As a sponsor accredited by the ACCME, the University of Louisville School of Medicine must ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all its sponsored educational activities. All faculty participating in this CME activity were asked to disclose the following:

1. Names of proprietary entities producing health care goods or services—with the exemption of nonprofit or government organizations and non–health-related companies—with which they or their spouse/partner have, or have had, a relevant financial relationship within the past 12 months. For this purpose, we consider the relevant financial relationships of a spouse/partner of which they are aware to be their financial relationships.

2. Describe what they or their spouse/partner received (eg, salary, honorarium).

3. Describe their role.

4. No relevant financial relationships.

CME & PD Committee Advisory Board Members have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests: Lisa J. Pfitzer, MD; Soon Bahrami, MD; Douglas Coldwell, MD, PhD; W. Daniel Cogan, EdD, FAODME; Justin L. Costa, MD; James Creg; Daniel Da Justa, MD; Adair Heyl, PhD; Christopher Jones, MD; Lucy Juett, MS; Gerald Larson, MD; Rana Latif, MD; Kimberly Moore; Karen Napolilli; Scott Plantz, MD; Kerri Remmel, MD, PhD; Michael D. Stillman, MD; Uldis Streips, PhD; Kathy M. Vincent, MD; Lori Wagner, MD; Angela Wetherton, MD; and Stephen Wheeler, MD, have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests.

Faculty Disclosures

Michelle Petri, MD, MPH has received grant/research support from Exagen Diagnostics.

Laura Durcan, MD has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

William A. Clarke, PhD has no relevant financial relationships to disclose


Sylvia H. Reitman, MBA, Shirley V. Jones, MBA and Eileen A. McCaffrey, MA of Global Academy for Medical Education, have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Global Academy for Medical Education LLC. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing education for physicians.

Designation Statement

The University of Louisville Continuing Medical Education designates this enduring material supplement for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Term of Approval

Original Release Date: September 2015

Expiration Date: September 30, 2017

University oF Louisville CME & PD Privacy Policy

All information provided by course participants is confidential and will not be shared with any other parties for any reason without permission.

Copyright© 2015 Global Academy for Medical Education LLC and Frontline Medical Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means, without prior written permission of the Publisher. The Publisher will not assume responsibility for damages, loss, or claims of any kind arising from or related to the information contained in this publication, including any claims related to the products, drugs, or services mentioned herein.

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