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Sjogren's syndrome
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Sjogren's syndrome
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Treatment

You can relieve many of the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome with a self-care plan you can develop with your doctor. He or she will likely review the medications that you're taking to be sure they're not contributing to the problem. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help ease certain symptoms.

Medications

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This group of medications, which includes aspirin, helps relieve both pain and inflammation. Your doctor may recommend you take these medications if you have painful or swollen joints. Side effects may include indigestion and stomach bleeding. Therefore, always take NSAIDs with food. Prescription NSAIDs can provide higher doses and more potency than over-the-counter types of NSAIDs.

  • Corticosteroids. These medications reduce inflammation and may slow joint damage. In the short term, corticosteroids can make you feel dramatically better. But when used for many months or years, they may become less effective and also cause serious side effects. Side effects may include easy bruising, thinning of your bones, cataracts, weight gain, a round face, diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). This antimalarial drug may be useful if you have inflamed joints, as with rheumatoid arthritis. It's not usually effective for the dryness caused by Sjogren's syndrome.

  • Pilocarpine (Salagen). Your doctor may prescribe pilocarpine if you have dry-mouth symptoms caused by Sjogren's syndrome. It's not an option if you have poorly controlled asthma, inflammation of the iris (acute iritis), glaucoma or significant cardiovascular disease, or if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. Pilocarpine may cause increased sweating and headaches.

  • Cevimeline (Evoxac). This prescription medication also is used to relieve symptoms of a dry mouth. The medication works by causing certain mouth glands to produce more saliva. Common side effects may include excessive sweating, nausea, and a runny or stuffy nose. Less common side effects, for which you should check with your doctor immediately, may include difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat and itching.

  • Cyclosporine. Your ophthalmologist may recommend you use eyedrops containing cyclosporine (Restasis) to treat symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome that affect your eyes.

Surgery
One way to relieve dry eyes is to undergo a minor surgical procedure to seal the tear ducts that drain tears from your eyes (punctal occlusion). Collagen or silicone plugs are inserted into the ducts for a temporary closure. Collagen plugs eventually dissolve, but silicone plugs will keep ducts sealed until they fall out or are removed. Your doctor may use a laser to permanently seal your ducts.

Sjogren's syndrome > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:16 AM