Because sarcoidosis is thought to be caused by an overactive immune system, treatments focus on using medication to suppress immunity, ease symptoms and prevent further organ damage. These medications include:
- Corticosteroids: These types of steroids reduce inflammation and are often the first line of treatment for sarcoidosis. Corticosteroids can cause side effects, so most patients will gradually decrease their dose as time goes on. The goal is to stabilize symptoms using as little of the corticosteroids as possible.
- Other immune suppressing medications: These medications work to suppress an overactive immune system, which is thought to be the cause of sarcoidosis. They are used when corticosteroids are not effective and cause severe side effects.
- Biological agents: These medications inhibit specific parts of the immune system that play a role in causing inflammation. They are the strongest drugs available to treat sarcoidosis, but they also have the most potential for side effects.
People with severe sarcoidosis may need oxygen therapy to ease or improve breathing. In the most advanced cases, lung transplantation may be required.