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Medications for Interstitial Lung Disease

Other names: Interstitial Pneumonia; Nonspecific Interstitial Pneumonia

What is Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)?

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a term that is used to describe a large group of lung conditions, most of which cause scarring (fibrosis) of lung tissue. This scarring makes the lungs stiff and harder for people to breathe. Examples of conditions that are classified as ILDs are:

  • Asbestosis
  • Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia
  • Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Interstitial pneumonia
  • Sarcoidosis.

What Causes Interstitial Lung Disease?

Normally, our bodies would repair this damage with just the right amount of tissue. But in people with ILD, healing doesn’t follow the usual process and the tissue around the alveoli (air sacs) becomes scarred and thickened. Normally these air sacs are spongy and soft with very thin walls that easily allow oxygen to diffuse through the alveoli into the bloodstream. Causes of ILD include:

  • Long term exposure to toxins or pollutants such as silica dust, asbestos fibers, grains
  • Radiation treatments
  • Indoor pools or hot tubs
  • Medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, some heart medications (eg, amiodarone, propranolol), some antibiotics (eg, nitrofurantoin), some anti-inflammatories, such as sulfasalazine or rituximab
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, Sjogren’s syndrome.

There are many other different causes of ILD and in some cases, the cause is not determined. ILD without a known cause is usually grouped under the label idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, the deadliest of which is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

What are the Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease?

Symptoms of ILD usually include a dry cough and shortness of breath at rest or aggravated by exertion, no matter the cause.
Symptoms generally worsen with time since the lung damage from most causes of ILD is irreversible and gets worse over time.

How is Interstitial Lung Disease Diagnosed?

See your doctor if you have a persistent dry cough or feel short of breath with minimal exertion or at rest. Unfortunately, if you have ILD, by the time symptoms appear the lung damage is irreversible: however, medications may be able to slow its progression.

Your doctor will take a history and ask you about your occupation, potential exposure to toxins or pollutants, and any medications you take. Several tests may be performed, such as blood tests, lung function tests (spirometry), chest X-rays or other imaging tests, or biopsies.

How is Interstitial Lung Disease Treated?

Treatment cannot reverse ILD; however, it may slow its progression. Treatments may include:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Medications to reduce stomach acid, particularly in those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Other medications (such as pirfenidone or nintedanib)
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery or lung transplantation.

Drugs Used to Treat Interstitial Lung Disease

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rx / OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol Reviews Rating Popularity
prednisone C N Add review
0.0

Generic name: prednisone systemic

Drug class: glucocorticoids

For consumers: dosage, interactions,

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Topics under Interstitial Lung Disease

Learn more about Interstitial Lung Disease

IBM Watson Micromedex

Mayo Clinic Reference

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Legend

Rx Prescription Only
OTC Over the Counter
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter
Off Label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.