Background Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare disease with significant morbidity and mortality, with a 18.07/1,00,000 prevalence in our Region. Pirfenidone is an orally administered antifibrotic approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate IPF.1 Pirfenidone is generally well tolerated, the most common side effects being on the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract and photosensitivity. However, side effects may partly offset treatment benefits and reduce compliance.
Purpose To assess side effects (tolerability) and compliance in (treatment-naïve) IPF patients receiving pirfenidone.
Material and methods In this prospective observational study, adherence was examined in patients treated between September 2013 and September 2014. Side effects and treatment compliance were recorded in a database. Adherence data were compared with the incidence of side effects occurring in the studied population.
Results 34 IPF patients were evaluated during a 12 month follow-up.
Comparison between prescribing and dispensing data showed that 19 (56%) of patients received 100% of the prescribed treatment, 22 (65%) received more than 90%, and only 3 (9%) received less than 50%.
Side effects led to only 15% of patients discontinuing pirfenidone and were more evident during the first six months of treatment, as observed in clinical trials.
Conclusion Tolerability: most side effects were manageable with supportive measures.
Compliance: overall it was good. Closer pharmacist/physician interaction could further improve patient compliance.
References and/or Acknowledgements 1 EMA summary of product characteristics
No conflict of interest.
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