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Esbriet (pirfenidone) is a prescription medication used to treat a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a condition in which the lung tissue becomes scarred or thickened, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Esbriet is not known to cure IPF but may slow down the progression of the disease, improve lung function and quality of life.
Esbriet (pirfenidone) works by reducing the amount of scar tissue that forms deep within the lungs in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). By slowing down the progression of this scarring or fibrosis, Esbriet can help preserve more of the lung function and ease breathing difficulties. Esbriet works by inhibiting the production of certain chemicals that promote the formation of scar tissue in the lungs.
Uses and Dosage
Pirfenidone is administered orally and is available in capsule form and should be taken orally with food as directed by your doctor, usually three times a day. Taking pirfenidone with food can help decrease dizziness and nausea, and starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it may help reduce the risk of side effects.
Make sure to inform your doctor and pharmacist about all products you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. To ensure maximum benefits, take this medication at the same time each day and regularly as prescribed.
When first starting pirfenidone (Esbriet), you will need to follow a specific dose schedule.
- Week 1: Take 200 mg (1 pill) by mouth three times daily.
- Week 2: Take 400 mg (2 pills) by mouth three times daily.
- Week 3 and beyond: Take 801 (3 pills) by mouth three times daily. Pirfenidone (Esbriet) is also available as an 801 mg tablet, so you may eventually get to switch to 1 pill a day once you reach this maintenance dose.
Common Side Effects of Esbriet (Pirfenidone):
- Common cold symptoms
- Poor appetite
- Stomach pain or discomfort
Serious Side Effects of Esbriet (Pirfenidone):
- Change in taste
- Difficulty sleeping
- General weakness
- Joint pain
- Non-heart-related chest pain
- Sinus inflammation
- Skin reaction from light
- Weight loss
Form and Strength
Esbriet (Pirfenidone) is available in the following forms and strength:
- 200 mg
- 801 mg
- Before starting to take Pirfenidone (Esbriet), your healthcare provider will perform liver function tests to ensure your liver is healthy. During the first 6 months of treatment, you should have monthly blood tests to monitor your liver function, and thereafter every 3 months or as required.
- Before you take Esbriet, tell your doctor if you are or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed (Esbriet has not been studied in these patients).
- Before you take Esbriet, tell your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- Call your doctor right away if you have a severe skin reaction such as skin blisters, rash, sores in the mouth, hives, or any other severe skin symptoms.
- Pirfenidone (Esbriet) can also increase sensitivity to sunlight after 6 months of treatment, so it is important to avoid direct sunlight and use sunblock and protective clothing.
- Pirfenidone can also cause stomach issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion, which are more likely to occur during the first 3 months of treatment and typically resolve over time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for Esbriet to work?
The effects of Esbriet may take several weeks or even months to become noticeable. It is important to continue taking the medication as directed by your doctor.
Does pirfenidone (Esbriet) prolong life?
Studies have shown that people who take pirfenidone (Esbriet) for IPF tend to live longer compared to people with IPF who don't take this medication.
How quickly does pirfenidone (Esbriet) work?
Pirfenidone (Esbriet) does not work very fast, and you'll need to take it regularly and for a long period of time to get the best effect. It is usually hard to tell if this medication is working, because it does not make you breathe better.
Can Esbriet be taken with other medications?
Tell your doctor about all medications (prescription, over the counter, and herbal) you are taking before starting treatment with Esbriet. Your doctor can advise you on any potential interactions.
It's important to purchase Esbriet from verified Canadian pharmacy.