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How do medications treat scleroderma?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Medications for scleroderma are symptom specific. They don’t actually treat the cause of scleroderma itself since experts aren’t sure yet what that is exactly. For example, blood pressure medications that dilate blood vessels are used to treat Raynaud’s phenomenon as well as potential lung and heart complications that are associated with systemic scleroderma. Medications are also used to relieve GI symptoms, lung and kidney disease, and joint pain.

 

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Scleroderma is the result of too much collagen production by the body. Treatments through medication focus on supressing the immune system to slow down the collagen production. Additional medications can help prevent damage to internal organs as a result of scleroderma.


There are several medications that may be used to treat scleroderma symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to treat joint pain, and corticosteroids can be used to treat weakness. Drugs that suppress the immune system can be helpful for some people, particularly those with lung problems. Drugs that dilate the blood vessels may help relieve symptoms and prevent problems with the lungs and kidneys. People who have digestive issues as a result of scleroderma may benefit from antacids and proton pump inhibitors to control heartburn or antibiotics that treat intestinal bacteria.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.