Like most other autoimmune disorders, the treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome is aimed solely at symptomatic relief. There is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome at this stage.
Some common symptoms experienced by Sjögren’s syndrome patients and some possible treatments include:
A variety of artificial tear preparations can be used to treat dry eyes. The severity of the dryness will determine how frequently you need to use the drops. Some preparations have preservatives – these last longer but may be irritating to the eye. It is a matter of trying one brand and seeing how you go. Lubricating ointments are longer acting preparations that are useful at night whilst sleeping. These tend to be greasy so are not appropriate for daytime use.
Dry mouth is harder to treat than dry eyes. There are some artificial oral lubricant preparations available, but none are entirely satisfactory. Some people find chewing sugarless gum is helpful, whilst others prefer simply to spray water into the mouth. Dietary modification using soft or moist foods may be of some assistance. The use of sugar should be avoided as it contributes to the development of dental caries. Good dental hygiene and frequent dental visits are essential.
Sorbolene cream and moisturisers may be helpful. For dryness of the vagina, lubricating creams or oestrogen creams may be helpful.
Oral medications are used in a majority of people. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or the anti-malarial drug Plaquenil, may be used to treat joint symptoms. Prednisone and immunosuppressant drugs are seldom used but are useful where there is severe lung or kidney involvement.