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Sjögren’s Treatment

Treatment for Sjögren’s syndrome depends on what parts of the body are affected. Treatment will focus on getting rid of symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Medicines for joint or muscle pain (such as aspirin and ibuprofen)
  • Medicines that help you make more saliva and mucus
  • Medicines that suppress the immune system.
Treatment for dry eyes may include:
  • Artificial tears that come in different thicknesses. You may have to try a few to find the right one.
  • Eye ointments. These are thicker than artificial tears. They protect the eyes and keep them wet for several hours. They can blur your vision, so you may want to use them while you sleep.
  • A chemical that wets the surface of the eye and keeps the natural tears from drying out so fast. It comes in a small pellet that you put in your lower eyelid. When you add eye drops, the pellet melts. This forms a film over your own tears and traps the moisture.
  • Surgery to shut the tear ducts that drain tears from the eye.
Treatment for dry mouth may include:
  • Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy helps your glands make more saliva. Sugar-free gum and candy are best.
  • Sipping water or a sugar-free drink often to wet your mouth.
  • Using oil or petroleum-based lip balm or lipstick to help dry, cracked lips feel better.
  • Using a mouth rinse, ointment, or gel prescribed by a doctor to help control pain and swelling.
  • Using a saliva substitute prescribed by a doctor to make the mouth feel wet.

People with dry mouth can easily get mouth infections. Tell your doctor if you have white patches or red, burning areas in your mouth.

Medicines and Dryness

Some medicines can cause eye and mouth dryness. If you are taking one of the drugs listed below, ask your doctor whether you should stop.

Drugs that can cause dryness include:

  • Those used for allergies and colds (antihistamines and decongestants)
  • Those used to lower fluids (diuretics)
  • Some used to treat diarrhea
  • Some used to treat blood pressure
  • Some antipsychotic medicines
  • Tranquilizers
  • Antidepressants.

 

Reference:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, USA.