How is beryllium disease treated?

There is no cure for chronic beryllium disease (CBD), but the symptoms can be treated.

All individuals diagnosed with beryllium sensitivity (BeS) or CBD are advised to avoid further beryllium exposure. Corticosteroids, which decrease inflammation, are the most frequent treatment for CBD.

The most common corticosteroid used for CBD is prednisone. Although there is no standard dosage for CBD, most doctors begin with 40 mg taken either daily or every other day. Since everyone responds differently to this treatment, your doctor will monitor your response to the drug and adjust the dosage as needed.

For patients who don't improve with steroids, the doctor may prescribe the drug methotrexate.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/25/2019.


  • US Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Healthy, Safety and Security. About Beryllium Accessed 4/30/2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Workplace Safety & Health Topics: Beryllium Accessed 4/30/2019.
  • Balmes JR, Speizer FE. Chapter 256. Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. In: Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012.
  • Kreiss K, Fechter-Leggett ED, McCanlies EC, et al. Research to Practice Implications of High-Risk Genotypes for Beryllium Sensitization and Disease. JOEM 2016; 58 (9): 855-860.

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