There are two widely used drugs for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Esbriet is also known as Pirfenidone. Esbriet has been used by 32,000 people worldwide. Its purpose is to slow the progression of the disease. A one year study that was based on Forced Vital Capacity showed that 23% of patients maintained lung function while on Esbriet and only 10% showed stable lung function without it.
Another drug is Ofev also know as Nintedanib. Ofev also is used to slow progression of IPF. The company claims that 50% of patients were able to maintain lung function over 1 year.
Both Esbriet and Ofev work by reducing the substance that causes scarring. Neither drug cures IPF, but has shown to slow progression with many patients. Many patients had to stop taking the drugs due to severe side effects.
The cost of these drugs in the US run $8000-9000 per month. Interestingly, Garry H from Australia pays only AUD $6 per month for Esbriet/Pirfenidone.
Inhalers containing corticosteroids are widely used to reduce the inflammation associated with IPF.
Prednisone, another drug commonly used, is also a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic indications. It is also an immunosuppressant.
According to the NIH, corticosteroids in studies were often ineffective and there has not been evidence they improve long time survival.
Oxygen therapy is used often times just during periods of exercise and sleep. Many patients require 24 hour oxygen especially in the later stages of IPF.
Other ‘natural remedies’ include enzyme Serrapeptase and it is thought to remove fibrin from the lungs. NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) has been used for a long time mostly for COPD. It is an antioxidant and increases Glutathione in the lungs and reduces oxidative stress. Food grade Hydrogen Peroxide drops have been used by many people and claim improvement. Its use is described at EarthClinic.com. Many believe that Mycoplasma is one cause of IPF. Myocplasma is a bacteria that has no cell wall. Most antibiotics work by breaking down the cell wall of bacteria and thereby destroying it, so they don’t work well with Mycoplasma. However, drugs like Doxycycline battle Mycoplasm as does Hydrogen Peroxide and Gallium Nitrate.
The National Institutes for Health is a great source of information for IPF. You can go to their website at NIH.gov.