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Berylliosis Medication

  • Author: Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
Updated: Dec 31, 2015

Medication Summary

Corticosteroids are the treatment of choice for chronic beryllium disease (CBD). No consensus on the dose or duration of corticosteroid therapy exists. A starting dose of 20-40 mg of oral prednisone daily or every other day usually is used. After an initial 4-6 weeks of therapy, prednisone is tapered, depending on the clinical response.

MTX may be considered in patients who do not respond to corticosteroids or in patients who develop significant adverse effects on corticosteroid therapy.



Class Summary

Have anti-inflammatory properties and cause profound and varied metabolic effects. Corticosteroids modify the body's immune response to diverse stimuli.

Prednisone (Sterapred)


Immunosuppressant for treatment of autoimmune disorders. May decrease inflammation by reversing increased capillary permeability and suppressing PMN activity. Stabilizes lysosomal membranes and also suppresses lymphocytes and antibody production. A 3-phase approach is suggested.


Cytotoxic agents

Class Summary

Inhibit cell growth and proliferation, which decreases immune system activity.

Methotrexate (Folex PFS, Rheumatrex)


Unknown mechanism of action in treatment of inflammatory reactions. May affect immune function. Ameliorates symptoms of inflammation (eg, pain, swelling, stiffness). Adjust dose gradually to attain satisfactory response.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Director, Pulmonary Vascular Program, Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Raed A Dweik, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FCCP, FCCM, FAHA is a member of the following medical societies: American Heart Association, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, American Thoracic Society, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Society of Critical Care Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Chief Editor

Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP Geri and Richard Brawerman Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Professor and Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, Medical Director, Women's Guild Lung Institute, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Federation for Medical Research, American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Gregg T Anders, DO Medical Director, Great Plains Regional Medical Command , Brooke Army Medical Center; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Disease, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Oleh Wasyl Hnatiuk, MD Program Director, National Capital Consortium, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Oleh Wasyl Hnatiuk, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Physicians, and American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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A high-resolution CT scan of the chest showing the typical ground glass appearance in a patient with chronic beryllium disease, or berylliosis.
A histopathology slide (hematosin and eosin stain) showing the typical well-formed granuloma of chronic beryllium disease, or berylliosis.
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