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What is the treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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Treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) won't cure the disease, but they can make it easier for you to breathe. Some may keep your lungs from getting worse quickly. Your doctor may recommend a few options:

  • Medicine. Two drugs, nintedanib (Ofev) and pirfenidone (Esbriet), are approved to treat IPF. Scientists are still finding out exactly how they work, but they do know these treatments can slow down scarring and damage in your lungs.
  • Oxygen therapy. You breathe oxygen through a mask or prongs that go in your nose. It boosts the oxygen in your blood so you have less shortness of breath and can be more active. Whether you need to wear oxygen depends on how serious your condition is. Some people with IPF need it only when they sleep or exercise. Others need it 24 hours a day.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. You work with a team of doctors, nurses, and therapists on ways to manage your symptoms. You might focus on exercise, healthy eating, relaxation, stress relief, and ways to save your energy. You may visit the hospital for a rehab program or do one at home.

From: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

SOURCES:

American Thoracic Society: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)."

Cleveland Clinic: "Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis: "Facts About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis," "What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?"

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treated?" "What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?" "Living With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis."

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation: "About PF."

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on July 11, 2019

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What should you know about getting a lung transplant for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

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