Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Sjörgren's syndrome treated with bromhexine: a randomised clinical study.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 17 June 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:1579
  1. K Frost-Larsen,
  2. H Isager,
  3. R Manthorpe


    Existing treatment for Sjögren's syndrome is unsatisfactory, and uncontrolled observations have suggested that bromhexine may be effective. Twenty-nine patients with Sjögren's syndrome were therefore assigned to two randomised double-blind crossover trials with bromhexine and placebo, each comprising two two-week periods. In the first trial bromhexine 24 mg/day was given by mouth; in the second the dose was increased to 48 mg/day. After each treatment period the Schirmer test response, break-up time, Bijsterveld score, and the time taken for the patient to eat a dry biscuit were recorded, as well as the patient's estimate of moistness in the eyes and mouth. In the second (higher-dose) trial values on the Schirmer test were significantly higher after bromhexine than after placebo and the break-up time was also increased after bromhexine, which suggested that the drug has a dose-dependent effect on lacrimal gland secretion in Sjögren's syndrome. It had no effect on salivary gland function. Bromhexine is therefore valuable in the treatment of Sjögren's syndrome.