Raynaud's phenomenon (primary)

BMJ Clin Evid. 2008 Dec 16:2008:1119.


Introduction: Raynaud's phenomenon is an episodic vasospasm of the peripheral arteries, causing pallor followed by cyanosis and redness with pain and sometimes paraesthesia. On rare occasions it can lead to ulceration of the fingers and toes (and in some cases of the ears or nose). This review focuses on primary (idiopathic) Raynaud's phenomenon occurring in the absence of an underlying disease. The prevalence of primary Raynaud's phenomenon varies by sex, country, and exposure to workplace vibration.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of treatments for primary Raynaud's phenomenon? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to May 2008 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Results: We found 15 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.

Conclusions: In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: amlodipine, diltiazem, exercise, inositol nicotinate, keeping warm, moxisylyte (thymoxamine), naftidrofuryl oxalate, nicardipine, nifedipine, prazosin, and smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Humans
  • Nifedipine* / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Raynaud Disease* / drug therapy
  • Ulcer
  • Vibration


  • Nifedipine