|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)
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.
Severe attacks which do not respond to the usual treatments, medications, and rewarming procedures may require hospitalization.
Raynaud's Disease: Treatments and Drugs. Medications for Raynaud's include calcium channel blockers, alpha blockers, and vasodilators. Mayo Clinic.
The routine use of ACE inhibition in treating upper-limb digital ulcers or other vascular manifestations in patients with systemic sclerosis is not advisable. (Also see Digital Ulcers)
Alpha-adrenergic blockers (such as Minipress, Cardura, or Hytrin), or blood-thinners (such as Coumadin, Trental, Warfarin) are sometimes used for Raynaud's.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon Medication. These agents are used for vasodilation and for their possible antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory effects. Medscape, 10/29/2014.
Combination therapy with Bosentan and Sildenafil improves Raynaud's phenomenon and fosters the recovery of microvascular involvement in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Patients treated with Bosentan + Sildenafil show a significant improvement and this combination therapy may exert a vascular activity achieving an amelioration of the structure of microvasculature in SSc. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 12/03/2015. (Also see Tracleer (Bosentan))
Successful Treatment with Bosentan of Lower Extremity Ulcers in a Scleroderma Patient. Lower extremity ulcers in patients with systemic sclerosis, refractory to conventional treatments, can be responsive to treatment with bosentan, especially when the ulcers are surrounded with cyanosis. Hindawi, 03/14/2014. (Also see Tracleer (Bosentan)
Low occurrence of digital ulcers (DU) in scleroderma (SSc) patients treated with bosentan for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH): a retrospective case-control study. The occurrence of DU in patients with PAH–SSc receiving long–term bosentan treatment was significantly lower than in untreated patients. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol. (Also see Tracleer (Bosentan))
The first choice drugs for Raynaud's in Scleroderma patients are calcium channel blockers. (1,2,3) In fact, nifedipine (which is a calcium channel blocker) has been proven superior for Raynaud's Phenomenon in Scleroderma. (1) Thus, nifedipine (such as Procardia XL ® or Adalat CC ®) is the most commonly used medication for Raynaud's in Scleroderma patients. (2)
Nifedipine may increase symptoms of heartburn, but the heartburn will usually subside once you become used to the medication. (5)
Short-Term Estrogen Administration Improves Abnormal Endothelial Function in Women With Systemic Sclerosis and Raynaud's Phenomenon. American Heart Journal 136(5):905-912,.
Intravenous Iloprost is effective for Raynaud's. However oral Iloprost was proven ineffective for Raynaud's phenomenon in scleroderma patients in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study. (4)
Iloprost Found To Mitigate Raynaud’s Syndrome Symptoms and Heal Associated Digital Ulcers. Iloprost is a safe and effective therapy for secondary Raynaud’s syndrome as it can ease the disease’s symptoms, improve the disability grade and heal or prevent the development of digital ulcers. Scleroderma News, 08/14/2015. (Also see Treatments for Digital Ulcers)
Systemic Sclerosis(SSc) Sera Impair Angiogenic Performance of Dermal Microvascular Endothelial Cells: Therapeutic Implications of Cyclophosphamide (CYC). In SSc, CYC treatment might boost angiogenesis and consequently improve peripheral microangiopathy. PLOS One, 06/15/2015. (Also see Medications)
Oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) secondary to systemic sclerosis (SSc): A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. NAC orally at a dose of 1800 mg/day showed no vasodilator effect on hands’ microcirculation after four weeks of treatment in patients with RP secondary to SSc. Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia, November–December 2014.(Also see Treatments for Digital Ulcers)
Nitroglycerine cream may be used for Raynaud's, although it needs to be used sparingly.
Prostaglandin Infusions: In severe instances, where gangrene or loss of a digit is possible, some doctors have had success with prostaglandin infusions.
Raynaud's Phenomenon Medication. Serotonin is a potent vasoconstrictor that is released from nerve endings and during platelet activation. However, some case reports describe exacerbation of Raynaud syndrome following the initiation of SSRI treatment. Medscape, 10/29/2014.
Efficacy of sildenafil on ischaemic digital ulcer (DU) healing in systemic sclerosis: the placebo-controlled SEDUCE study. A significant decrease in the number of DUs in favour of sildenafil compared with placebo confirming a sildenafil benefit. PubMed, Ann Rheum Dis, 05/20/2015.
Viagra and Hearing Loss. Although it has not been definitely proven that Viagra and other PDE5 medications cause hearing loss in humans, the evidence of an association continues to come in. VeryWell, 04/20/2016. (Also see Autoimmune Ear Disease)
Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors and sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Increased occurrence in clinical practice and scientific reports suggest that the phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are considered a risk factor for sudden deafness. PubMed, Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. (Also see Autoimmune Ear Disease)
Viagra may aggravate severe apnea. Viagra (sildenafil) taken at bedtime may worsen breathing problems in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea. WebMD.  (Also see Sleep Disorders and Emotional Adjustment)
United Way of Central New Mexico
United Way of Snohomish County
See ISN News for recent donors, including Pam Hop, Margaret Roof, Winifred Schillberg, Arnold Slotkin, and Juliet Youkhana. Plus donations in honor of Kim Thwaits, and in loving memory of Marta Marx, Jim Miller, and Arlene Marie Petulla.
Click Here to Donate or Shop
or click on the floating green DONATE sclero.org button.
SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: