The majority of women suffering from Sjgren’s syndrome report that symptoms interfere with daily activities, including work, household and leisure, according to a recent survey. Sjgren’s syndrome, one of the most common autoimmune diseases, attacks the moisture-producing glands and primarily causes severe dry eyes and dry mouth. It affects up to 4 million people in the United States, 90 percent of whom are women.
When asked which symptoms originally motivated sufferers to see a doctor for treatment, more than 70 percent of respondents indicated dry eyes (75 percent) and dry mouth (72 percent). The survey polled 3,190 members (94 percent women) of the Sjgren’s Syndrome Foundation.
In addition, the survey uncovered that the average time between the onset of first symptoms and diagnosis is 6.5 years. The symptoms of Sjgren’s can mimic other conditions, making diagnosis difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no one test to diagnose Sjgren’s syndrome. When Sjgren’s syndrome is suspected, a series of tests is administered, which aims to determine the degree of mouth and eye dryness and measure antibody markers in the blood.
Like all autoimmune diseases, there is no cure for Sjgren’s syndrome. However, there are different treatment options available to manage symptoms. Artificial tears can be used to alleviate dry eyes, while chewing sugar-free gum and drinking water can provide temporary relief from dry mouth symptoms. In addition, an FDA-approved product called EVOXAC (cevimeline HCl) has also been proven effective in treating the dry mouth symptoms of Sjgren’s syndrome.
The most common side effects are excessive sweating, headache, nausea, sinusitis, upper respiratory infections, rhinitis and diarrhea.
You should not take EVOXAC if you have uncontrolled asthma, eye inflammation, narrow angle (angle closure) glaucoma or allergies to EVOXAC.
Before taking EVOXAC, tell your doctor if you have a heart condition, controlled asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, a history of kidney disease or gallstones or if you are taking any heart medications, especially “beta-blockers.” If you have any of these conditions, your doctor will monitor you under close medical supervision while you are taking EVOXAC.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medications to avoid any possible drug interactions.
The safety and effectiveness of EVOXAC in patients under 18 years of age have not been established.
Special care should be taken if you are elderly.
You should be careful when driving at night or performing hazardous activities in reduced lighting while taking EVOXAC.
If you sweat excessively while taking EVOXAC, you may become dehydrated. To prevent this, drink extra water and talk to your doctor.
Please see the Patient Information sheet and talk to your doctor.
Sjgren’s syndrome, one of the most common autoimmune diseases, attacks the moisture-producing glands.