Cystic Fibrosis - Medications
cystic fibrosis help keep the lungs as healthy as
possible, reduce and control
mucus in the lungs, and replace digestive
Medicines to treat infections
- Antibiotics (such as
ciprofloxacin and tobramycin)
Medicines to open airways in the lungs or keep them open
(such as albuterol or salmeterol), which are used to make breathing easier. They may also make it
easier to cough up mucus.
- Anticholinergics (such as Atrovent)
Medicines to control the amount and thickness of mucus
- DNase (such as
Pulmozyme). It is used to thin mucus
in the lungs.
- Mucolytics (such as acetylcysteine), to thin mucus in the lungs and the intestines. These aren't used very
much, though, because they can irritate the lungs.
- Saltwater solution (hypertonic saline). This is sometimes used to help clear mucus from the
lungs. It is low-cost, and it may help reduce
inflammation in the airways.1, 2
Medicines to reduce inflammation
Medicines to replace the effect of digestive enzymes
A small number of people with cystic fibrosis have a certain changed (mutated) gene called the G551D mutation. If you have this changed gene and you are age 6 or older, the medicine ivacaftor (Kalydeco) can target the genetic cause of your lung problems and may help improve lung function. Talk to your doctor if you want more information about it.
What to think about
Some medicines work better for
some people than for others. A medicine that works well for one person may not
work for someone else. It can take time to find the medicines that work best
for you or your child.