Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-43

Pirfenidone treatment in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: A Saudi experience

Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Esam H Alhamad
Department of Medicine, Pulmonary Division (38), P.O. Box 2925, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.146866

PMID: 25593606

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Background: Recent trials involving pirfenidone suggest a beneficial effect in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Objective: To report on the efficacy and safety of pirfenidone in the treatment of patients with IPF, at a tertiary care hospital in Saudi Arabia. Methods: The study included 58 patients with IPF who were evaluated from March 2012 to March 2013. During the study period, 33 patients received pirfenidone, and the remaining patients (n = 25) served as a control group. Baseline clinical characteristics, physiological parameters and the results of a 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) were compared between the groups. Furthermore, we compared changes in forced vital capacity (FVC), diffusion capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLco), six-minute walk distance (6MWD) and SF-36 for both groups during follow-up. The last follow-up period ended in January 2014. Results: There were no significant differences in baseline clinical characteristics between the groups. Furthermore, we found no differences in FVC, DLco and SF-36 during follow-up (median, 12 months). However, patients receiving pirfenidone treatment were less likely to experience reductions in 6MWD compared with the control group (13% vs. 52%, respectively; P = 0.001). Although adverse events were more frequently reported by the pirfenidone group compared with the control group (85 vs. 56%, respectively; P = 0.015), these patients did not require discontinuation of treatment. Conclusion: Pirfenidone treatment preserves functional capacity, as reflected by the 6MWD. Adverse events associated with pirfenidone treatment were generally well tolerated by the patients.

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