Drug-induced comorbidities in patients with sarcoidosis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2022 Sep 1;28(5):468-477. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000889. Epub 2022 Jul 18.


Purpose of review: Sarcoidosis is a chronic multisystemic inflammatory disease of unknown aetiology with a wide range of highly variable clinical manifestations and unpredictable disease course. Sarcoidosis patients may present with specific organ-related symptoms involving functional impairments, and less specific symptoms. The decision whether and when to treat a sarcoidosis patient with pharmacotherapy depends on two major factors: risk of organ failure and/or death and impairment of quality of life. This decision is complex and not standardized.

Recent findings: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are recommended as initial treatment, when needed. Subsequent GC-sparing alternatives frequently follow. Comorbidities or adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from drugs used in sarcoidosis treatment are sometimes very hard to differentiate from symptoms associated with the disease itself, which may cause diagnostic dilemmas. An ideal approach to minimalize ADRs would involve genetic screening prior to prescribing certain 'high-risk drugs' and therapeutic drug monitoring during treatment. Pharmacogenomic testing aims to guide appropriate selection of medicines, with the potential of reducing unnecessary polypharmacy while improving clinical outcomes.

Summary: A multidisciplinary approach to the management of sarcoidosis may avoid unnecessary ADRs. It is important to consider the possibility of drug-induced damage in sarcoidosis, especially if the clinical situation deteriorates after the introduction of a particular drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Sarcoidosis* / chemically induced
  • Sarcoidosis* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoidosis* / drug therapy


  • Glucocorticoids