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Sarcoidosis

Sarcoid and Cellcept

10/17/2006

Question:

I`ve tried methotrexate and Plaquenil but was unable to tolerate side effects. Am currently on prednisone for systemic sarcoid including cardiac(longterm use with many side effects).

Have you heard of using Cellcept as a steroid sparing med for severe sarcoid? Thanks.

Answer:

Dear Sir/Madam-

There have been several case reports (individual anectdotes) in the literature indicating that Cellcept works well as a steroid-sparing agent for difficult to treat sarcoidosis.  However, like most of the steroid-sparing drugs, there are potentially serious side effects and you have to be followed very closely by the prescribing doctor.

The major problem is suppression of the bone marrow, which makes the white blood cells that are needed to fight infections.  Some people develop intolerable gastrointestinal symptoms.  Despite the side effects, Cellcept is being used increasingly for the treatment of sarcoidosis because of the limited treatment options beyond steroids and methotrexate.  Plaquenil is generally reserved for the management of very mild disease.

For more information:

Go to the Sarcoidosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Elliott D Crouser, MD Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University