Clinical Trial Uses Nicotine Patches to Treat Chronic Lung Disease

They were created to help smokers quit, but may also help patients with sarcoidosis

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Dr. Elliott Crouser listens to the lungs of a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He is conducting a clinical trial to see if nicotine patches can treat sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease that is commonly triggered by inhaling pesticides or other harmful materials.

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Nicotine patches were created to help smokers quit, but researchers are conducting a study to see if they can also help patients who suffer from a chronic lung disease. Sarcoidosis is a growth of inflammatory cells, most likely triggered by inhaling pesticides or other toxic materials. If the condition doesn’t go away on its own, it can cause severe lung damage and even death.

    Traditionally, sarcoidosis is treated with steroids, but long-term use can cause severe side effects, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis and diabetes.

    So, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center conducted a small three-month clinical trial using nicotine patches as a treatment for sarcoidosis. After seeing promising results, they’ve launched a larger randomized trial that will dig deeper into whether nicotine patches can be a long-term solution for managing the disease.

  “When we examine the data, we hope to find that the nicotine patches help stop or even reverse the growth of sarcoidosis cells,” said Dr. Elliott Crouser, who is leading the clinical trial. “And because nicotine is a stimulant, patients also get a secondary benefit. Extreme fatigue is the most common symptom of sarcoidosis, and the patches help them get through their day with more energy.”

    The trial will last 6 months and researchers will use CAT scans along with a newly-developed computer analysis system measure the amount of sarcoidosis in patients’ bodies.

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Dr. Elliott Crouser listens to the lungs of a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He is conducting a clinical trial to see if nicotine patches can treat sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease that is commonly triggered by inhaling pesticides or other harmful materials.

Dr. Elliott Crouser reviews a CAT scan image of a patient with sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease that can be deadly. He is leading a clinical trial that is testing nicotine patches to treat the disease.

Jose Serra has sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease that causes extreme fatigue and can result in severe lung damage. He is participating in a clinical trial to see if nicotine patches can be an effective treatment for the disease.

Researchers are using CAT scans and a newly-developed computer analysis system to gauge the effects of nicotine patches on a chronic lung disease that can be deadly if left untreated.