Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC) (cont.)

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Sicca Syndrome

Dry eyes: For chronically dry eyes, use artificial tears containing methylcellulose without preservatives. These artificial tears can prevent the complications of dry eyes, such as ulcers of the cornea.

Dry mouth: Patients with dry mouth have a reduced amount of watery saliva but maintain production of thick saliva. Chewing gum or sucking on a small object can stimulate more watery saliva. Others may need to moisten the mouth with fluids. It is imperative that all patients with dry mouth take adequate amounts of fluids to help with swallowing during meals or when taking oral medications. It is also recommended that these patients have frequent dental appointments to check for cavities.

Dry vagina: Lubricating jelly is suggested to prevent painful sexual intercourse. If a woman is postmenopausal, estrogen creams are also recommended to improve the function of the cells lining the vagina.

Raynaud's Phenomenon

PBC patients with Raynaud's phenomenon should restrict exposure to the cold. They can wear warm clothing, gloves, and shoes when they must be in cold environments. Some patients find that using gloves also helps avoid problems when they handle ice-cold articles, for example frozen food packages and cold cans of soda. All patients with Raynaud's phenomenon should stop smoking cigarettes because smoking causes reduced blood flow in the blood vessels of the hands and feet. Drugs called calcium channel blockers help the symptoms in the hands and feet of some patients. At the same time, unfortunately, however, these drugs may worsen swallowing difficulties associated with scleroderma.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/30/2014