Clinical Trial to Study Benefits of Nicotine Patches in Sarcoidosis Patients

Clinical Trial to Study Benefits of Nicotine Patches in Sarcoidosis Patients

Ohio State University researchers have launched a clinical trial to investigate whether nicotine patches can help treat patients with sarcoidosis. The study (NCT02265874), a collaboration between the university and the Cleveland Clinic, currently is recruiting participants.

Smokers who want to quit often use nicotine patches, which slowly release nicotine through the skin and into the bloodstream.

A team of researchers at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center wants to see if nicotine patches can benefit patients with sarcoidosis, a chronic lung disease triggered by inhaling pesticides or other harmful materials. While the disease often is resolved in some patients, it can lead to severe lung damage in others, especially if untreated.

Current sarcoidosis therapies rely heavily on the use of steroids such as prednisone. However, long-term use of steroids can cause serious side effects, including high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and diabetes.

In search of alternative therapies, the Ohio State team led by Elliott Crouser, MD, launched a small clinical trial for three months, where they tested the potential benefits of nicotine patches as a therapy for sarcoidosis. Promising results prompted researchers to start a larger trial.

Participants will be randomly assigned to two groups: one that receives nicotine patches and the other a placebo. Patients in both groups will use their patches for approximately seven months.

Participants in the six-month trial will be closely monitored. During the first three weeks, they will receive a phone call and then will be contacted monthly for the duration of the study to monitor for any side effects. Researchers will use CAT scans and advanced computer analysis to measure the effects of nicotine release on sarcoidosis.

“When we examine the data, we hope to find that the nicotine patches help stop or even reverse the growth of sarcoidosis cells,” Crouser said in a press release. “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.”

For more information about the trial, including how to participate, please visit this link.

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Patricia holds her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from University Nova de Lisboa, and has served as an author on several research projects and fellowships, as well as major grant applications for European Agencies. She also served as a PhD student research assistant in the Laboratory of Doctor David A. Fidock, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Columbia University, New York.


  1. Patricia L Duke says:

    This article is worthless. How and why did “they” come to the conclusion that nicotine helps. Nicotine increases blood flow, correct? How does this stop or reverse sarcoidosis cells from forming. Please respond.

  2. Deb Z says:

    I’m not a scientist, but based on my recent personal trial, I’m not sure why no one is looking at nicotinamide riboside. Its a form of B3, which at least one site says is molecularly similar to nicotine. Research shows it has the potential to slow down or reverse mitochondrial damage…common in many disease processes due to oxidative stress. In Sarcoidosis, mTOR/AMPK metabolic signaling dysfunction (latent M. tuberculosis infection?)would play a key role in APMK deficiency, which in turn would cause mitochondrial issues due to ATP deficit.
    I recently started using NAD+ twice a day, along with d-ribose to support ATP production…it has reduced 8 years of muscle pain, spasms, cold and exercise intolerance when nothing else has.
    Wish clinical practice would catch up with research.

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