The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
There are no medications available to cure or halt the progression of scleroderma. Scleroderma is treated on a symptom-by-symptom basis.
These drugs are given in an effort to slow or halt the progression of scleroderma. While research has yet to prove that these drugs can actual modify scleroderma’s course, they are often given anyway. They are all immunosuppressive agents. Because scleroderma is believed to be caused (at least in part) by an overactive immune system, it is hoped that calming the immune system’s activity will slow scleroderma’s progress.
D-penicillamine is thought to decrease collagen production, and therefore is given to reduce or slow skin hardening. Methotrexate may help decrease joint swelling, pain, and inflammation. Cyclophosphamide may reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Calcium-channel blockers can reduce the symptoms of
by relaxing blood vessels. This allows better blood circulation through the fingers, toes, and tip of nose. When exposed to cold, you’ll have less trouble with skin blanching and less numbness and tingling. Use of calcium-channel blockers can reduce the chance of developing sores or ulcers on your fingertips.
Calcium-channel blockers may also be given to treat high blood pressure.
Thompson AE, Shea B, Welch V, Fenlon D, Pope JE. Calcium-channel blockers for Raynaud's phenomenon in systemic sclerosis.
Zachariae H, Halkier-Sorensen L, Bjerring P, Heickendorff L. Treatment of ischaemic digital ulcers and prevention of gangrene with intravenous iloprost in systemic sclerosis.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a