What are the most effective therapies for pulmonary fibrosis?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating condition where the lung tissues progressively thickens and turn into scar tissues leading to breathlessness and ultimately respiratory failure and death. The treatment for IPF has changed drastically over the past few years. Traditionally, IPF were treated with high doses of corticosteroids in combination with other medications to suppress the immune system. New medications, pirfenidone and nintedanib, have made it possible to slow down the progression of the condition. Other supplemental agents such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has often been used as an adjunct therapy in pulmonary fibrosis. We often get asked about what the effectiveness of different therapies in pulmonary fibrosis. Continue reading

Pirfenidone related photosensitivity – Prevent sun burns this summer

Pirfenidone (Esbriet or Pirfenex) is one of the few medications that effectively treats and slows down the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). While this medication is generally well tolerated, pirfenidone, like many other drugs, can increase the chance of a condition called photosensitivity. Photosensitivity means the skin is more sensitive to sun lights. People with photosensitivity can get sun burns more easily than usual and even have allergic skin reactions to sun light. We have had many patients after buying pirfenidone from our Canadian pharmacy service who called us with a skin rash thinking they were having an allergic reaction to pirfenidone, but in fact they were having photosensitivity and the skin rashes were results of unprotected exposure to sun lights. Continue reading