There are not many medicinal treatments for DUs and surgical amputation is considered only for severe gangrenous cases. A treatment that prevents new ulcers is therefore addressing a real unmet patient need.

Treatment of DUs includes frequent local wound care, dressing changes and pain management. DUs are prone to infection and often require prolonged courses of intravenous antibiotics (administered directly into the bloodstream via a catheter). A delay in treating the infection may lead to bone shortening and deformity.

Until recently, the evidence for medicinal treatment of DUs has been limited. However, the similarities in the way in which the blood vessel disease and damage occur in both PAH and DUs has led to a dual ET receptor antagonist (drugs that block the receptors of the protein, which regulates blood flow), used for the treatment of PAH patients to be studied in patients with DUs as a consequence of SSc.

Results from two large studies support the use of a dual ET receptor antagonist in DUs, where an effect was shown to reduce the number of new ulcers in either patients with existing ulcerations or in patients with a history of DU disease.

Other drug therapies which are routinely used for DUs, but with very limited evidence to support their efficacy are:

  • Prostanoid therapy, in particular intravenous iloprost which is a drug that opens-up (dilates) the blood vessels
  • Calcium channel blockers used to help relax the muscles in blood vessel walls

For further information about treatment for digital ulcers please speak with your doctor.

 

US RESIDENTS

Please note that the information contained in this section of the website is not intended for US residents. Please visit our US webpage.

Please note that the information contained in this section of the website is not intended for US residents. Please visit our US webpage.

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