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What is the Treatment for Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis, an enigmatic disease of unknown origin. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, and targeted therapies. For pulmonary cases, oral glucocorticoids and rehabilitation are recommended.

  • 24 Jan 2024
  • min read
  • 67 views

Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown etiology that can affect multiple organs. The clinical presentation is the presence of small collections of inflammatory cells. The lumps formed are called granulomas. In a sarcoidosis patient, the granuloma mostly appears in the lungs, skin, and eyes. It can also be found in other body parts like the heart, kidneys, central nervous system, exocrine glands, etc. Granulomas are not cancerous as they are formed in response to inflammation, infection, irritant exposure, etc. The symptoms often depend upon the organ affected and may not be even experienced in mild cases. Such cases do not require treatment but in advanced stages, treatment is required.    

 

Treatment of Sarcoidosis

The symptoms of sarcoidosis vary with the organ affected. Since it is an inflammatory disease, most of the treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Medicines that are known to suppress immune response are also given to sarcoidosis patients. Depending upon the symptoms and the severity, treatment options are recommended. 

The following treatments are recommended for sarcoidosis:

For pulmonary sarcoidosis:

  • Oral glucocorticoids as recommended by the physician. 
  • Immunosuppressive medicines like Infliximab, Methotrexate, Leflunomide, Azathioprine, etc. are given to patients. These drugs suppress the immune system to prevent inflammation.  
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation – It uses techniques to reduce pulmonary distress and improve breathing efficiency.

For skin sarcoidosis:

  • Medicines like Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) are recommended to reduce skin lesions.

For heart (cardiac) sarcoidosis:

  • Steroids and immunosuppressive medicines are recommended by the physician, depending upon the severity of the disease.
  • The doctor may place an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) in the patient.

For musculoskeletal sarcoidosis:

  • If the indications worsen, then anti-inflammatory medicines and corticosteroids are recommended to reduce symptoms. Hydroxychloroquine and colchicines are the medicines usually recommended. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors are also given in some cases. 

Sarcoidosis could affect the eyes, muscles, spleen, liver, and many other internal organs so it is advisable to pay attention to symptoms experienced and seek medical help. 

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Conclusion

Mild and asymptomatic sarcoidosis patients do not need to be treated, as they often stay stable for a lifetime. Nevertheless, sarcoidosis in the advanced stage requires immediate medical intervention. In the case of advanced-stage patients, relapse of the disease is common, even after proper treatment. Treatment for most of the advanced stage sarcoidosis might result in expensive bills. It can be managed through a good health insurance policy.               

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