Use of fluticasone in acute symptomatic pulmonary sarcoidosis

Robert P. Baughman, Michael C. Iannuzzi, Elyse E. Lower, David R. Moller, Ronald C. Balkissoon, Donna B. Winget, Marc A. Judson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Background: Inhaled corticosteroids have been used with variable success in sarcoidosis. The role of the inhaled corticosteroid fluticasone in symptomatic pulmonary patients was studied. Methods: Twenty-two patients at five institutions who had been given an initial dose of oral corticosteroids within the prior four weeks were enrolled in a randomized double blind trial of inhaled fluticasone. An algorithm for the dosage of prednisone including rules for reducing dose was developed and applied at all centers. Results: Of the 21 patients seen for more than one visit, 10 received fluticasone and 11 placebo. There was no significant difference in the improvement of vital capacity or average daily dose of prednisone for the fluticasone versus placebo. Eight of ten patients taking fluticasone had improvement in cough, while only 6 of 11 patients on placebo had improved cough despite taking oral corticosteroids (p = 0.36, N.S.). The algorithm for decreasing corticosteroid dosage was exactly applied in over 80% of patient visits and oral corticosteroids were used throughout most of the year of treatment. Patients registered higher complaints regarding increased appetite and polyuria when on ten mg or more prednisone a day. There was no clinical difference in the rate of toxicity for the fluticasone versus placebo group. Conclusion: A standard approach to tapering oral corticosteroids was followed in over 80% of patient visits. Oral corticosteroids were associated with significant complaints, while inhaled corticosteroids were well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
JournalSarcoidosis Vasculitis and Diffuse Lung Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cough
  • Fluticasone
  • Pulmonary sarcoidosis
  • Sarcoidosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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