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).
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including some of the oldest -- and most cherished -- medical myths out there. For our October 2011 issue, we asked Dimitrios Pappas, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, about the long-term effects of one popular childhood activity: knuckle cracking.
Q: My 10-year-old son cracks his knuckles. Is it true that it causes arthritis?
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
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 30, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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