Tobacco Worker's Lung Medication

Updated: Apr 17, 2018
  • Author: Roger B Olade, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and prevent complications. Avoiding exposure to antigen usually results in regression of disease, but corticosteroid treatment may be required in more severe cases. However, long-term outcome appears unchanged by the treatment.



Class Summary

Corticosteroids are recommended in patients with subacute or chronic disease presentations, patients with persistent symptoms, abnormal pulmonary function tests, hypoxemia, and radiographic evidence of extensive lung involvement.


May decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity.

Stabilizes lysosomal membranes and suppresses lymphocytes and antibody production.

Prednisolone (Millipred, Orapred, Prelone)

Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and reducing capillary permeability.

Methylprednisolone (A-Methapred, Medrol, Solu-Medrol)

Decreases inflammation by suppressing migration of PMNs and reversing increased capillary permeability.