Treatment for Sjogren's syndrome depends on the parts of the body affected. Many people manage the dry eye and dry mouth of Sjogren's syndrome by using over-the-counter eyedrops and sipping water more frequently. But some people need prescription medications, or even surgical procedures.
Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might suggest medications that:
- Decrease eye inflammation. Prescription eyedrops such as cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra) may be recommended by your eye doctor if you have moderate to severe dry eyes.
- Increase production of saliva. Drugs such as pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac) can increase the production of saliva, and sometimes tears. Side effects can include sweating, abdominal pain, flushing and increased urination.
- Address specific complications. If you develop arthritis symptoms, you might benefit from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other arthritis medications. Yeast infections in the mouth should be treated with antifungal medications.
- Treat systemwide symptoms. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), a drug designed to treat malaria, is often helpful in treating Sjogren's syndrome. Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate (Trexall), also might be prescribed.
A minor procedure to seal the tear ducts that drain tears from your eyes (punctal occlusion) might help relieve your dry eyes. Collagen or silicone plugs are inserted into the ducts to help preserve your tears.
Aug. 09, 2017
- Sjogren's syndrome. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/Sjogrens_Syndrome/sjogrens_syndrome_ff.asp. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Baer AN. Diagnosis and classification of Sjogren's syndrome. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Sjogren's syndrome. American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Sjogrens-Syndrome. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Sjogren's syndrome. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/sjogrens-syndrome/. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Sjogren's syndrome. Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation. http://www.sjogrens.org/home/about-sjogrens/symptoms. Accessed May 23, 2017.
- Baer AN. Treatment of dry mouth and other non-ocular sicca symptoms in Sjögren's syndrome. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 23, 2017.