What are the treatment options for sarcoidosis?
There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but the disease may get better on its own over time. Sarcoidosis symptoms will often get better without treatment. Treatment is aimed at maintaining good lung function, reducing symptoms, and preventing organ damage:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These may be used to treat pain, swelling, and discomfort.
Corticosteroids: Prednisone is the choice of treatment in symptomatic patients. Inhaled corticosteroids may relieve cough and upper respiratory discomfort. Topical corticosteroids may be useful in dermatologic conditions.
Immunosuppressants: They are usually given to patients who cannot tolerate prednisone; however, in a few conditions, they may be given in combination with other drugs. Methotrexate is the most commonly used immunosuppressant. Other immunosuppressants include hydroxychloroquine, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclophosphamide, leflunomide, and infliximab. Relapse is usually common after stopping an immunosuppressant.
Organ transplantation: It is an option for patients with end-stage pulmonary, cardiac, or liver involvement, although the disease may recur in the transplanted organ.
Lifestyle modifications: These include:
- Eating a well-balanced diet with various fresh fruits and vegetables
- Drinking enough fluids every day
- Getting six to eight hours of sleep each night
- Exercising regularly and managing your weight
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding exposure to dust, chemicals, fumes, gases, toxic inhalants, and other substances that can harm your lungs
- Avoiding excessive amounts of calcium-rich foods (such as dairy products, oranges, and canned salmon with bones), vitamin D, and sunlight