Pirfenidone - oral
Pirfenidone - oral
Pirfenidone is used to treat a certain lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This disease causes the lungs to get scarred and become stiff, making it hard to breathe. Pirfenidone may help slow down the worsening of your IPF.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking pirfenidone and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with food as directed by your doctor, usually 3 times a day. Taking pirfenidone with food may help decrease dizziness and nausea. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
Tiredness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, or changes in taste may occur. Dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or heartburn may also occur but taking pirfenidone with food may lessen these side effects. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Pirfenidone may rarely cause serious liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including:
In the US -
Before taking pirfenidone tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Other medications can affect the removal of pirfenidone from your body, which may affect how pirfenidone works. Examples include rifamycins (such as rifampin), drugs used to treat seizures (such as phenytoin), among others.
Cigarette smoking decreases blood levels of this medication. Tell your doctor if you smoke or if you have recently stopped smoking.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as weight, liver function tests) should be performed before you start treatment, periodically to monitor your progress, or to check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss 14 days or more of treatment in a row, you may have to restart treatment with a lower dose. Ask your doctor for more details.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Information last revised October 2018.
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