7 Common Questions About Esbriet
Esbriet (pirfenidone) is an anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory drug used in the treatment of mild to moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Manufactured by Genentech and given FDA approval in 2014, the drug reduces the amount of lung fibrosis by blocking secretions responsible for excessive collagen production. It also reduces inflammation in the lungs.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the drug from esbriet.com:
How will Esbriet help me?
Esbriet has been shown to prolong life for IPF patients by slowing down the progression of the disease. A one-year clinical trial found that Esbriet improved lung stability in 23 percent of patients, compared to 10 percent of patients not taking the drug.
How do I take Esbriet?
Esbriet now comes in tablet form and three tablets can be taken three times a day with meals. However, the dosage must be increased gradually to the three tablets, three times a day dosage over the course of three weeks. If you experience any side effects, your doctor may reduce your dose.
My IPF is stable, do I still need to take medication?
IPF is a progressive disease, although its progression is unpredictable. Treatment is advisable to help slow down the progression of the disease.
What are the possible side effects of Esbriet?
There are some serious side effects associated with Esbriet including liver damage, sensitivity to UV rays, and stomach problems. Less serious side effects are experienced by around 10 percent of people which include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, indigestion, respiratory infections, GERD, sinusitis, joint pain, and sleeplessness.
How can I manage side effects?
Side effects such as UV sensitivity can be managed by reducing your time in the sun and wearing high-factor sunscreen and long clothing. Taking Esbriet with meals may reduce some of the stomach issues associated with the drug. Your doctor may also advise you to stagger the tablets throughout the meal or take them afterward. If side effects persist, your doctor may reduce your dose.
Why is it important to continue taking Esbriet?
You are more likely to preserve more of your lung function for a longer time if you continue taking the drug.
Is Esbriet the right therapy for me?
This is a decision you will need to reach with your doctor.
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