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What is the treatment for sarcoidosis?

For most patients with sarcoidosis no treatment is required. Symptoms are usually not disabling and tend to disappear spontaneously. Treatment is necessary for patients who have the rarer forms of sarcoidosis that affects their brain, heart or

causes a high blood calcium level.

If treatment is needed, the most effective one for sarcoidosis is the administration of steroid medications. These medications work to decrease inflammation throughout the body. The long-term use of steroid medications has serious potential side-effects. Patients are only treated with steroids when the problems caused by sarcoidosis are particularly serious. Many cases of sarcoidosis resolve without treatment. Severe disease is treated with steroids, and later with steroid-sparing agents. As the granuloma are caused by collections of immune system cells, particularly T cells, there has been some indications of success using immunosuppressants, interleukin 2 inhibitors, anti-tumor necrosis factor, and some monoclonal antibody therapies. Unfortunately, there are no conclusive results.

Sarcoidosis responds very well to steroids. These are usually started at a moderate dose and then reduced gradually over a few months with the aim of stopping treatment after about 1 year. If patients require a high dose of steroids to control their sarcoidosis, other medication may be used in an attempt to reduce the amount of steroids needed. These may be Hydroxychloroquine, Methotrexate or Azathioprine. Occasionally the sarcoidosis may become active again after steroids are stopped. This is called a relapse. Symptoms will respond to restarting of the steroid treatment.

 

More information on sarcoidosis

What is sarcoidosis? - Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disorder of unknown etiology, characterized histologically by noncaseating epithelioid granulomas involving various organs.
What causes sarcoidosis? - The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. Sarcoidosis is currently thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response.
Who is at risk of sarcoidosis? - Sarcoidosis is more commonly seen in blacks than whites, primarily people of northern European decent in the latter case.
What are the symptoms of sarcoidosis? - Symptoms of sarcoidosis include dry cough, shortness of breath, skin lesions, renal, liver and heart involvement, neuropathy.
How is sarcoidosis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of sarcoidosis is based on the patient's medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, lung function studies, and chest x-ray.
What is the treatment for sarcoidosis? - The most effective treatment for sarcoidosis is the administration of steroid medications. Sarcoidosis responds very well to steroids.
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