Expert Consensus on the Management of Adverse Events and Prescribing Practices Associated With the Treatment of Patients Taking Pirfenidone for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

A Delphi Consensus Study

Franck F. Rahaghi; Zeenat Safdar; Anne Whitney Brown; Joao A. de Andrade; Kevin R. Flaherty; Robert J. Kaner; Christopher S. King; Maria L. Padilla; Imre Noth; Mary Beth Scholand; Adrian Shifren; Steven D. Nathan


BMC Pulm Med. 2020;20(191) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: In patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) treated with pirfenidone (Esbriet®, Genentech USA, Inc. South San Francisco, CA.), effectively managing treatment-related adverse events (AEs) may improve adherence. Due to a lack of clinical evidence and expertise, managing these AEs can be challenging for patients and physicians alike. In the absence of evidence, consensus recommendations from physicians experienced in using pirfenidone to treat IPF are beneficial.

Methods: Using a modified Delphi process, expert recommendations were developed by a panel of physicians experienced with using pirfenidone for IPF. Over three iterations, panelists developed and refined a series of statements on the use of pirfenidone in IPF. Their agreement on each statement was ranked using a Likert scale.

Results: A panel of 12 physicians participated and developed a total of 286 statements on dosing and administration, special populations, drug-drug interactions, laboratory analysis, warnings and precautions, and AE management. Expert recommendations were achieved with regard to slower initial titrations and slower titrations for AEs, dosing with meal(s) or substantial meals, and adding other prescribed pharmacological agents for AEs.

Conclusion: Until there is further clinical evidence, the resulting consensus recommendations are intended to provide direction on the practical management of IPF with pirfenidone, by encompassing a broad experience from the real world to complement data gleaned from clinical trials.