Interstitial lung disease - drug induced
Drug-induced pulmonary disease is lung disease brought on by a bad reaction to a medicine. Pulmonary means related to the lungs.
Many types of lung injury can result from medicines. It is usually impossible to predict who will develop lung disease from a medicine.
Types of lung problems or diseases that may be caused by medicines include:
Many medicines and substances are known to cause lung disease in some people. These include:
Symptoms may include any of the following:
The health care provider 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:
The first step is to stop the medicine that is causing the problem. Other treatments depend on your specific symptoms. For example, you may need oxygen until the drug-induced lung disease improves. Anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids are most often used to quickly reverse the lung inflammation.
Some drug-induced lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis, may never go away and can worsen, even after the medicine or substance is stopped and can lead to severe lung disease and death.
Complications that may develop include:
Call your provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.
Note any past reaction you have had to a medicine, so that you can avoid the medicine in the future. Wear a medical alert bracelet if you have known drug reactions. Stay away from street drugs.
Kurian ST, Walker CM, Chung JH. Drug-induced lung disease. In: Walker CM, Chung JH, eds. Muller's Imaging of the Chest. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 65.
Limper AH. Drug-induced pulmonary disease. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 99.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 5/30/2021
Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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