Gammalinolenic acid treatment of fatigue associated with primary Sjögren's syndrome

Scand J Rheumatol. 2002;31(2):72-9. doi: 10.1080/03009740252937577.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of the essential omega-6 fatty acid Gammalinolenic acid (GLA) on fatigue associated with primary Sjögren's syndrome.

Methods: Ninety patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (with or without signs of autoimmunity) entered a 6-month double blind placebo-controlled randomised trial with high dose GLA (extracted from Evening Primrose Oil) or corn oil. The primary outcome parameter was fatigue; secondary endpoints were eye dryness, mouth dryness, muscle and joint pain.

Results: No statistically significant improvement was found in fatigue assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) or in the time needed for sleeping/resting during a 24-hour period. No differences were found between the treatment and placebo group. The same applies to the secondary endpoints: no differences in VAS for eye and mouth dryness or pain, no significant changes in Schirmer-1-test, van Bijsterveld score, unstimulated whole sialometry (UWS), or use of artificial tears or analgesics. Only mild side effects were observed.

Conclusion: According to our study results GLA (Evening Primrose oil) treatment for fatigue in primary Sjögren's syndrome is ineffective.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatigue / drug therapy*
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oenothera biennis
  • Patient Compliance
  • Plant Oils
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid / adverse effects


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid