Myriad treatments in Encinitas, CA ease Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms and prevent irreversible damage
Sjögren’s syndrome can potentially affect many different parts of the body. Frequently, this autoimmune condition damages the ability of the mucus membranes and glands to produce adequate tears and saliva. So, dryness is commonly associated with Sjögren’s. While no single medication has been conclusively proven to slow the progression of the disease, there are many drugs available to ease symptoms. Without intervention, these symptoms can lead to oral and ocular damage, and damage to internal organs such as the lungs, liver, and pancreas.
A board-certified rheumatologist, Dr. Peter Lloyd of Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center, is well-versed in Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms and treatments in Encinitas, CA, as well as other, related autoimmune diseases. Sjogren’s may be a primary condition, or secondary to other conditions, such as lupus and rheumatic arthritis.
Medications for Sjögren’s symptom-relief and to prevent wide-ranging potential complications may be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by Dr. Lloyd. Additionally, some patients may benefit from a combination of OTC and prescription medications. Usually, the products that you get at the store lubricate the eyes, mouth, and skin.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs such as Advil, Aleve, or prescription NSAIDs are characterized as a “first-line therapy” to ease inflammation and reduce the hormone-like prostaglandins compounds that cause pain. Most commonly, NSAIDs cause an upset stomach and, rarely, GI bleeding and ulcers.
Prednisone and other corticosteroids are fast-acting and prescribed to alleviate severe symptoms and flare-ups. One month of short-term use may be sufficient before Dr. Lloyd tapers off the dose. In some cases, long-term use (more than one month) is required. There are many potential side effects, ranging from minor to serious, which Dr. Lloyd will discuss with you.
As their name suggests, Disease-Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) alter immune system functions. Since they regulate immune response (and don’t simply manage symptoms), it takes time to see and feel improvements. Commonly, hydroxychloroquine is prescribed for initial and long-term use. It has been used successfully for some time to treat rheumatic diseases; however, side effects include retinal damage. Dr. Lloyd works with ocular specialists and other physicians to monitor potential side effects, as so many parts of the body are vulnerable to damage.
Additional medications that Dr. Lloyd may discuss with you include:
- Salagen and Evoxac to stimulate increased production of saliva and, sometimes, tears
- Prescription Restasis eye drops to decrease inflammation, for moderate to severe dry eyes
While there isn’t a cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, there are many options to improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of serious complications. Call 760-509-2429 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lloyd at the Encinitas, CA office of Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center.Back to Sjogrens Syndrome Page