The use of hydroxychloroquine which is one of the most frequently prescribed treatments for Sjögren syndrome may not improve symptoms, a new study has found.
Primary Sjögren syndrome is characterized by mouth and eye dryness, pain, and fatigue, with systemic manifestations occurring in approximately one-third of patients. Despite the wide use of hydroxychloroquine in clinical practice, evidence regarding its efficacy is limited, according to background information in the article.
Jacques-Eric Gottenberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the Universite de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France, and colleagues randomly assigned 120 patients with primary Sjögren syndrome to receive hydroxychloroquine or placebo for 24 weeks. All patients (treatment and placebo) were prescribed hydroxychloroquine between weeks 24 and 48. The study was conducted at 15 university hospitals in France.
"In the present study, hydroxychloroquine did not demonstrate efficacy for the main disabling symptoms—dryness, pain, and fatigue—of primary Sjögren syndrome compared with placebo. [This trial] extends the negative results of the only previous controlled crossover trial, which included 19 patients and confirms that previous open trials might have overestimated the therapeutic efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in primary Sjögren syndrome," the authors write.
"Further studies are needed to evaluate longer-term outcomes."