Zidovudine in primary Sjögren's syndrome

Rheumatology (Oxford). 1999 Sep;38(9):814-7. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/38.9.814.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of the administration of zidovudine (AZT), an antiretroviral drug, in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS).

Methods: Seven female patients (age 57 +/- 8.6 yr) with primary SS were enrolled in an open, uncontrolled trial of AZT (250 mg b.i.d.) for the treatment of primary SS. The efficacy variables were oral and ocular dryness symptoms, fatigue, tender points, physician's and patient's global assessments (GA), ocular function tests (fluorescein tear break-up time, Schirmer's test, Rose Bengal staining) and laboratory parameters [erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), serum IgG, IgA and IgM].

Results: A significant improvement was observed in all subjective manifestations, as well as the objective parameters of ocular dryness. The treatment was well tolerated, except for mild and transitory gastrointestinal disturbances in 6/7 patients. Laboratory parameters did not change significantly. The clinical benefit persisted in 5/7 patients 1 month after the end of therapy.

Conclusion: AZT seems to be effective and well tolerated in patients with primary SS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xerostomia / etiology
  • Zidovudine / administration & dosage
  • Zidovudine / adverse effects
  • Zidovudine / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Zidovudine