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Sarcoidosis
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Sarcoidosis
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Treatment

Doctors generally use the corticosteroid drug prednisone to treat sarcoidosis. Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that mimic the effects of hormones produced by your adrenal glands. They're not the same as the anabolic steroids used by some athletes to increase strength and muscle mass.

Not everyone with sarcoidosis needs medication. In general, you may not need treatment if sarcoidosis is affecting only your lungs and nearby lymph nodes. Because sarcoidosis often disappears on its own at this stage, your doctor is likely just to monitor you closely.

When chest X-rays reveal more widespread areas of lung inflammation, your doctor may monitor the disease for three to 12 months and begin treatment only if the inflammation hasn't improved or has progressed.

On the other hand, treatment with prednisone is usually recommended if your heart, eyes or central nervous system is involved or if your blood calcium level is elevated.

Just how long to continue prednisone is a matter of debate. In some cases, you may take medication for several years, in as low a dose as possible while still controlling the disease. For a small percentage of people, symptoms return when the medication is discontinued. In addition, prednisone can cause serious side effects, especially when it's taken long-term. These side effects include:

  • Osteoporosis, a disease that causes your bones to become thin and brittle, leading to fractures

  • high blood pressure

  • Cataracts

  • Diabetes

  • Increased risk of infection

  • Weight gain and redistribution of body fat

Talk to your doctor about the best ways to help prevent or reduce the possibility of side effects. One option is to take prednisone every other day, rather than every day.

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:10 AM