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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Interstitial Lung Disease

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 11/12/1999]
Question: I have a male friend, age 65 who has been on metoprolol after CABG. He has recently been hospitalized with shortness of breath upon exertion and a dry cough. After a battery of tests, he has been diagnosed with interstitial lung disease. I understand that metoprolol can cause this. The medication has been stopped and he is currently taking prednisone. What is the percentage rate of interstitial disease caused by beta blockers? Is this completely reversible?

Answer: Not usually seen with this drug-I have hundreds of patients on beta blockers and have never seen a case. We generally don't test lung function on beta blockers and would never test diffusing capacity.

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