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Drug-induced pulmonary disease

Definition

Drug-induced pulmonary disease is lung disease brought on by a bad reaction to a medication.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Many types of lung injury can result from medications. It is usually impossible to predict who will develop lung disease from a medication or drug.

The types of lung problems or diseases that may be caused by medications include:

Many drugs are known to cause lung disease in some people, including:

  • Certain antibiotics, such as nitrofurantoin and sulfa drugs
  • Certain heart medicines, such as amiodarone
  • drugs such as bleomycin, cyclophosphamide, and methotrexateChemotherapy
  • Illegal drugs

Symptoms

Note: Symptoms may vary from person to person.

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and listen to your chest and lungs with a stethoscope. Abnormal breath sounds may be heard.

Tests that may be done include:

Treatment

The first step is to stop the drug that is causing the problem. Other treatments depend on your specific symptoms. For instance, you may need oxygen until the drug-induced lung disease improves. Powerful anti-inflammatory medicines called steroids are sometimes used and may quickly reverse the lung inflammation.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

episodes usually go away within 48 - 72 hours after the medication has been stopped. Acute symptoms may take longer to improve.Chronic

Some drug-induced lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, may never go away.

Complications

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.

Prevention

Note any past reaction you have had to a medication, so that you can avoid the medication in the future. Wear a medical allergy bracelet if you have known drug reactions. Avoid the abuse of illegal drugs to prevent many drug-induced lung diseases.

References

Maldonado F, Limper AH. Drug-induced pulmonary disease. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 72.

Raghu G. Interstitial lung disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. . 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 92.

Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.