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Can you lower a high anti ds dna count?

Just had a diagnosis of SLE and have a high anti ds dna count. Consultant wants me to take medication but so far I have few symptoms. Can I lower the anti ds dna ? Or has anyone taken any medication that does this without really bad side effects? These may be silly questions but I am new to Lupus and drowning in all the (sometimes) contradictory infromation out there on the web....

10 Replies

There is a lot of information on the web and a lot of that is unreliable. Lupus isn't necessarily progressive but anti ds dna is accepted as indicating a greater likelihood of organ involvement or threatening disease. I wouldn't hesitate to take Plaquenil the brand name of hydroxychloroquine sulphate.

This anti malarial medicine is the basis of all treatment. It is understood to be disease modifying. This means it is thought to prevent disease spreading as well as dealing very well for the most part with obvious symptoms such as joint aches and pains. It is all many need to get the disease under control. It has numerous other less obvious benefits such as a degree of UV protection, lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and slight blood thinning. as well as benefitting some lung problems.

Most people tolerate it very well. Serious side effects are very well known but many have taken it for years without problem but getting regular checks.

Once the disease is under control, the anti -ds- dna levels might well fall. This is one of the few signs considered to show disease activityBut the disease is not the blood work it is the symptoms felt and observed or discovered by testing - such as kidney disease, which might be well advanced before the patient sees any symptoms. Plaquenil has been described as the 'insurance' medicine. Many doctors advise those who have recovered from very serious life- threatening disease treated by medicines which can have major side effects, to continue with Plaquenil to avoid recurrence and flares.

Please remember that those who live very well with their lupus rarely post on forums.


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Thank you so much for your reply. As I am already taking medication for breast cancer, I am reluctant to take anything else unless the benefits are clear...and the side effects not worse than the symptoms! Your answer has helped. Thank you.


I've been on Plaquenil for nearly two years and my anti dsDNA has come down from 75 to 45 (normal less than 15), so it is heading in the right direction. I haven't developed any major organ involvement either. Unfortunately it hasn't done much for my symptoms, which are probably due to fibromyalgia - as steroids had little effect either.

Just be sure to get an annual eye test. Obviously some meds have side effects in some people - the most common one with Plaquenil is a dodgy tum - so better to take after food.

Hope that reassures you! xx

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Thanks for your reply. My anti ds dna seems to hover at about 102.. so I am surprised that I don't have more symptoms than rash and Raynaud' some fatigue. Not sure if there is anyhting going on with my internal organs that I don't yet know about, but am keen not to let things get worse. Thanks for your help.



If you would like some basic information on lupus to digest I can send you one of our free information packs. Just send me a private message or email with your name and address and I'll send one out,

Best wishes,




hydroxy has ruined my life. i had some symptoms fatigue,aches,stiff joints in mt feet and hands, minor kidney problems and problems with eyes. the plaqueni whe it really kicked in gave me a lot pf pain and discomfort. very nervous,unbalanced, lots of pain. also someone on here said that there are autoimune diseses that plaq can make alot worse.

for me i would have been better off not taking it just made me more ill. never ever felt lke this in my life. never had a flare in my life but now flaring more than the olympic torch.

i wish that i just had the check ups and no plaq. it works for many many people though. have to take steroid injection just to dull the symptoms.

having a brain scan as it seems i may have some problems and going to see a kidney specialist next week and my long awaited appoitment with the lupus hospital in london. i am not just listening to one doctor on this as its a difficult disese to treat and diagnose. some .

people are ill for several years beforethey get a firm diagnosis. some people never do,

lupus is known as the great pretender and everyone can suffer differently


So sorry to hear how ill you are feeling. It is so hard to know what is best to do as, like you say, everyone is different and reacts differently. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and give me your own experience.


Hi Londonexile,

My ds DNA has always been really high, was 287 at the beginning of the year! Have taken hydroxychloroquine and azathoprine in the past which did nothing to lower it, it only got higher. I started on MMF, prednisolone and chloroquine about 4 and a half months ago as i then got diagnosed with lupus nephritis and over the last few months my ds DNA has slowly gone down to just under 100 currently. I suppose everybody is different and different things work for different people. Hope you manage to get it sorted.


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Thanks for your reply and good to hear that at last your anti ds DNA has gone down. From what I read, there doesn't seem to be a direct correlation between the anti ds DNA clount and the severity of that right? My count seems to stay the same whatever else is going on....

Thanks again for your help.


Hi Sam,

I'm Musfiq. My Wife's Anti-ds DNA is measured 81.0 IU/ml and ANA-Screening 3.8 IU/ml and both are positive.The symptoms are joint pain in both hands and feet and memory lose. I've learned that you have lower you Anti-ds DNA from 287 to 100. Can you suggest me the natural remedies and antibiotics that you have taken ?


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