Treatment Options for Sjögren’s Syndrome
Get more information about how over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications and medical procedures can all help control Sjögren’s Syndrome symptoms.
Sjogren’s syndrome can affect all moisture-producing glands and tissues in the body – not just the eyes and mouth – and cause a host of symptoms.
Below is head-to-toe a look at over-the-counter and prescription treatment options, as well as some medical procedures, for this common autoimmune condition that affects nine times as many women as men.
Over-the-counter options include:
- Artificial Tears
- Bion Tears
- Isopto Tears
- Nature’s Tears
- The immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine in the form of an eye drop (Restasis) to be applied every 12 hours.
- A cellulose pellet (Lacrisert) that is placed in the lower eyelid where it dissolves, adding moisture, when artificial tears are used.
- Two drugs approved for dry mouth, pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac), may help dry eyes. While they aren’t approved for dry eyes, your doctor may prescribe them for that purpose. Also, if you take one of these drugs for dry mouth, it may help your eyes.
Artificial saliva products:
- Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste and Biotene Mouthwash with Calcium
- CloSYS Toothpaste and CloSYS Oral Rinse
- Orajel Dry Mouth Moisturizing Toothpaste
Treatment options include:
- Sucralfate (Carafate) is an ulcer medication that coats and protects the esophagus and stomach.
- H2 blockers, also called H2-receptor antagonists, reduce the production of gastric acid by blocking histamine 2. H2 blockers include cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) and ranitidine (Zantac).
- Proton pump inhibitors are a group of medications that decrease the amount of acid in the stomach and intestines. They include omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), rabeprazole (Aciphex), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Lubricants to look for:
- KY Jelly
- A corticosteroid medication such as prednisone, which mimics natural substances that control immune response,
- A disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), methotrexate (Rheumatrex) or leflunomide (Arava) to inhibit the body’s immune response.
Prescription treatments include:
- DMARDs such as azathioprine (Imuran) or cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan)
- The mucus-thinning medication acetylcysteine
- Anti-fibrotic (anti-scarring) medications such as bosentan (Tracleer) and pirfenidone
Therapeutic treatments include:
- Oxygen therapy may make breathing less difficult.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation may help you live better by teaching you exercises to improve breathing and to breathe more efficiently.
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