Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)
Research & Clinical Trials
Mild cases of Raynaud's do not require treatment. Severe attacks which do not respond to the usual treatments, medications, and rewarming procedures may require hospitalization. (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma and Systemic Symptoms)
Diet, lifestyle and smoking can play a significant role in either worsening, or improving, Raynaud's. (Also see Raynaud's Prevention)
How is Raynaud's Disease Treated? There is no cure for primary or secondary Raynaud's, but many measures can reduce the number or intensity of attacks,. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Raynaud's is often mild and does not require treatment other than prevention techniques. However, various treatments can be used or medications prescribed when there are digital (finger or toe) ulcers, or when Raynaud's becomes painful.
Sometimes, despite the best efforts by both the doctor and the patient, the Raynaud's in scleroderma may progress to gangrene. In severe cases this may require amputation of the affected part.
Amputation Links. Charles Eaton, MD.
Biofeedback is generally not as effective for Scleroderma-related Raynaud's as it can be for primary Raynaud's, although some patients do find it to be helpful.
Effect of biofeedback and deep oscillation on Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to systemic sclerosis: results of a controlled prospective randomized clinical trial. The study underlines the beneficial role of physiotherapy for the treatment of secondary to systemic sclerosis (SSc)–related RP. Birte Sporbeck, Rheumatology International, 18 February 2011. (Also see Raynaud's Treatments)
Botox may be helpful for Raynaud's and might improve healing for digital ulcers.
Severe cases of Raynaud's should be managed by the rheumatologist, where treatments may include vascular and hand surgery.
Photos of Digital Sympathectomy in Systemic Scleroderma Patient. Click on images to enlarge and for patient commentary from the International Scleroderma Network (ISN) Photo Repository. ISN.
Surgical treatment of systemic sclerosis: Is it justified to offer peripheral sympathectomy earlier in the disease process? Peripheral sympathectomy is a well-tolerated procedure in patients with SSc and is associated with predictable pain relief and ulcer healing in the majority of patients. PubMed, Microsurgery, 01/14/2015. (Also see Digital Ulcers and What is Scleroderma?)
Ulnar artery occlusion is predictive of digital ulcers in SSc: a duplex sonography study. Ulnar artery occlusion is frequent and an important risk factor for the development of digital ulcers in patients with systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology, 2012 51 (4): 735-742. (Also see Digital Ulcers and What is Scleroderma?)
Digital (Finger) Ulcers. Systemic scleroderma and Raynaud's can cause painful ulcers on the fingers or toes, which are known as digital ulcers. ISN.
Judy King: CREST Syndrome A neurosurgeon performed a Digital Sympathectomy on my right hand and, thank God, my finger was saved...
Ginkgo and Raynaud's. Ginkgo reduced the daily frequency of Raynaud's symptoms and that weekly attacks were less frequent. Ginkgo can interact with certain herbs and medications and can increase your risk of bleeding. Raynaud's Association.
Hypothyroidism occurs in a fair percentage of Scleroderma patients, and adequate treatment for it can be beneficial for the Raynaud's, also. ISN.
Medications. There are a number of prescription medications that have been proven to be effective for Raynaud's. ISN.
|Mild Cases do not need Treatment
Alpha-adrenergic Blockers or Blood Thinners
Angiotensin II Antagonist
Calcium Channel Blockers
|Iloprost and Alprostadil
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)
Sildenafil Citrate (Viagra, Revatio)
Nerve blocks can help in the short-term, however they frequently worsen Raynaud's in the long run. (2)
Nitroglycerine cream may be used for Raynaud's, although it needs to be used sparingly.
Raynaud's Prevention. Reduce your exposure to cold and stress. To ty stay warm, wear gloves, and keep your core temperature up. Wear layers of clothing and thermal underwear. Avoid caffeine and vasoconstricting medications. Use shoulder bags, backpacks or trolleys. ISN.
Avoid Bad Vibrations
Avoid Vasocontrictors (Caffeine, Cocaine, Marijuana, Nicotine)
A 2009 study reported that statins may be beneficial in treating vascular manifestations of systemic sclerosis, such as Raynaud's, through their pleiotropic effects.
Treatments for Raynaud's. Serotonin re-uptake antagonists are also used to treat depression. Raynaud's and Scleroderma Association.
A 2009 study reported that Tadalafil appears to be safe and well tolerated but wasn't any better than placebo.
A 2005 study showed that vitamin E did not improve perfusion in systemic sclerosis patients.
(1) "The Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) treatment study (RTS): A comparison of pharmacologic and behavioral interventions." ACR Abstract.
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