Background: Fatigue is a common complaint in patients with sarcoidosis. We studied the effectiveness of dexmethylphenidate hydrochloride (d-MPH) in treating sarcoidosis-associated fatigue.
Methods: This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of d-MPH. Patients were seen weekly and completed Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) and Fatigue Assessment Score (FAS) instruments. After a 1-week wash-in period, patients received either d-MPH or placebo. After 8 weeks, the medications were stopped. Following a 2-week wash-out period, patients were crossed over to 8 weeks of the other treatment. FVC and 6-min walk distance (6MWD) were determined initially and after each treatment arm.
Results: Ten patients with sarcoidosis were enrolled: 8 women and 5 African Americans. All were receiving systemic sarcoidosis therapy. Significant improvement in fatigue was reported by patients when receiving d-MPH (FACIT-F, p < 0.001; FAS, p < 0.02). FVC was higher at the end of 8 weeks of d-MPH compared to the baseline values (baseline median, 2.38 L; range, 1.17 to 4.53 L; placebo median, 2.41 L; range, 1.50 to 4.65 L; d-MPH median, 2.56 L; range, 1.50 to 4.96 L; p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the 6MWD (baseline median, 330 m; range, 60 to 460 m; placebo median, 350 m; range, 180 to 460 m; d-MPH median, 390 m; range, 200 to 460 m). d-MPH was well tolerated.
Conclusions: Treatment with d-MPH was associated with a significant improvement in sarcoidosis-associated fatigue.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00361387.