For most people living with Raynaud’s, they have the primary form which can often be addressed with lifestyle issues. But for those with more severe symptoms, particularly those with the secondary form, they are more at risk for developing painful ulcers and potentially experiencing permanent damage to skin tissue and blood vessels.
In severe cases, doctors usually start with drugs in the category of calcium channel blockers or topical creams and gels containing nitroglycerin or nifedipine (a calcium channel blocker). If more ammunition is required, they may prescribe drugs in the phosphodiesterase inhibitors category – these are better known as Viagra and Cialis used more commonly by men for other purposes, but they are proving effective for severe Raynaud’s symptoms (getting insurance coverage for female Frosties is a separate issue…).
When the above drugs aren’t enough, what are the treatment options for severe Raynaud’s sufferers? The article lists the following:
Sympathetic Nerve Block Injections
Botox® Injections (still experimental and not clinically proven)
Spinal Cord Stimulation (a new one we haven’t heard before)
Some of the above options are painful and not permanent, but for those in danger of losing a digit, they warrant serious consideration.
One option not mentioned in the article is Iloprost injections. The injections are delivered over a series of days under hospital supervision, and have proven effective in opening the blood vessels to save digits from extreme Raynaud’s symptoms potentially leading to gangrene.
The above treatment options for severe Raynaud’s won’t be needed for most sufferers, but it’s good to know there are alternatives for those who require more than the standard medications.
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by S. R.
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I just discovered this website now and am very happy to see this kind of support is available to someone like me.
by M.W. (Canada)
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Just learned I have Raynaud’s…Glad to have found this org!
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Thank you so much for such an informative site. I really feel you have helped me not only understand the disease, but how to deal with it effectively.
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I’m happy to find your site. I’m newly diagnosed and am educating myself beyond the medications for control!
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I am ecstatic that I found this association! I did my usual engine search of Raynaud’s and came across the association for the first time and shared the information with my colleague as well.
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Hi Raynaud’s – I am glad that I’m not “alone”.
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