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Interstitial Lung Disease

Treatments for Interstitial Lung Disease continued...

Inhaled oxygen: In people with low oxygen blood levels due to interstitial lung disease, inhaled oxygen may improve symptoms. Regular use of oxygen might also protect the heart from damage caused by low oxygen levels.

Lung transplant: In advanced interstitial lung disease causing severe impairment, a lung transplant may be the best option. Most people undergoing lung transplant for interstitial lung disease make large gains in quality of life and their ability to exercise.

Azathioprine (Imuran): This drug also suppresses the immune system. It has never been proven to improve interstitial lung disease, but some studies suggest it might help.

N-acetylcysteine (Mucomyst): This potent antioxidant may slow the decline of lung function in some forms of interstitial lung disease. It does not improve people's survival from interstitial lung disease, however.

Other less often-used treatments for interstitial lung disease include:

These medicines suppress the immune system significantly. They may be used in some cases of interstitial lung disease while monitoring for side effects.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 12, 2012

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