Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There's no cure for mixed connective tissue disease. But medication can help manage the signs and symptoms.

You might need treatment only during flare-ups. If you have a more serious form of the disease, you might need continuous medication.

The type of medication prescribed depends on the severity of your disease and your symptoms. Medications can include:

  • Corticosteroids. Drugs, such as prednisone, can help prevent your immune system from attacking healthy cells and suppressing inflammation. Side effects can include mood swings, weight gain, high blood sugar, increased blood pressure, weakened bones and cataracts.
  • Antimalarial drugs. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) can treat mild mixed connective tissue disease and might prevent flare-ups.
  • Calcium channel blockers. Medications, such as nifedipine (Procardia) and amlodipine (Norvasc), help relax the muscles in the walls of your blood vessels and may be used to treat Raynaud's phenomenon.
  • Other immunosuppressants. Your doctor might prescribe other medications based on your specific signs and symptoms. For example, if they're similar to those of lupus, your doctor might recommend medications typically prescribed for people with lupus.
  • Pulmonary hypertension medications. Bosentan (Tracleer) or sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra) may be prescribed.

Your doctor is likely to monitor you closely for signs of pulmonary hypertension.

April 03, 2015