I had a doctor’s appointment with my Rheumy recently and we talked about how my Raynaud’s is so much worse in the winter time and how I might go about managing it this season.  I was using prescription strength Niacin but it only comes with the flush factor so I only take it when I absolutely have to.  Anyone not familiar with the flush is that once you take it within about 15 minutes your entire body turns red and starts to feel like it burning, almost like a really bad sunburn. It goes away within a short amount of time but I was very selective when I would take it.  I wouldn’t take it before a meeting a visit with a customer and I wouldn’t take it if I knew several people would be seeing me.  Basically I only took it when I was tucked in my office for an hour or so.  My doctor asked me how long the relief from Raynaud’s lasted once I took it and I told him about an hour.  That was not enough time and I agree so we are trying a low dose blood pressure medication.  I take it at night since I don’t have high blood pressure I don’t want it to get too low during the day so if I take it at night I’m sleeping and laying down with no fear of fainting and when I wake the next morning my blood is able to flow better all day. In just the 2 weeks I have been using it I can already tell a difference.  Even my mother commented that my hands were looking better.

Considering it has already started snowing here and we dropped in the low twenty’s for temperature I am expecting this to be a long cold winter. My hope is that my hands and feet will better survive this winter now that I can take a maintenance medicine instead of trying to fit a medicine into my schedule.  Once summer is back I will no longer need to take this and will resume again in the colder months. I still use warm packs, wear gloves and wool socks whenever out and take hot baths whenever possible to keep my body warm.  I of course also use exercise as a way to keep my blood circulating but unfortunately these things are quite enough to keep my hands and feet safe from the over powerful severity of Raynaud’s.



  1. bryns December 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm Reply

    I’ve only recently started treatment for MCTD, and I’ve just got back from my visiting my doctor. He’s doubled my dosage of Nifedipine to try and see if I can get some relief from Raynauds this year. Hoping you find some relief soon.

    • mevsmctd December 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm Reply

      Hello Bryn
      Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience. I was also on Nifedpine for several years and it worked great for me but then about a year ago it started to give me migraines so I had to start trying other things. It is wonderful while it works so I hope you find many years of success with it and if you ever start to get migraines tell your doctor as that can be common with long term usage but once you stop the medicine the migraines instantly stop too. Good luck in your journey.


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