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Raynaud's Phenomenon - Treatment Overview

There is no cure for primary Raynaud's phenomenon, although the condition often can be effectively controlled. You may be able to limit or reduce the severity of attacks by keeping warm; managing emotional stress; and avoiding medicines or other substances that affect blood flow, such as nicotine, caffeine, or cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine. Avoiding beta-blockers, which are often used to treat high blood pressure and fast or irregular heart rates, is also advised. Beta-blocker medicines slow the heart rate and decrease how forcefully the heart contracts, causing even less blood to flow through your capillaries and making symptoms of Raynaud's worse. Do not stop taking medicines your doctor has prescribed, such as beta-blockers, without talking with your doctor.

If Raynaud's phenomenon can't be effectively controlled with home treatment and it interferes with your daily activities, your doctor may prescribe medicines that help increase blood flow and relieve symptoms. These medicines might include a high blood pressure medicine such as a calcium channel blocker, a nitroglycerin ointment, or an erection-enhancing medicine such as sildenafil (Viagra).

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Some alternative treatments have shown promise in treating Raynaud's phenomenon. But they have not been shown to work for everyone. Examples of alternative treatment include herbal supplements and biofeedback training.

If the condition is related to another disease, a drug, or a specific activity (secondary Raynaud's), treating the disease or stopping the drug or activity may also reduce the symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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