It is safe to administer antifibrotic drugs to patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), possibly reducing disease progression over time in those awaiting lung transplant, according to recent study results.

Researchers assessed nine IPF patients who had undergone lung transplant at Leuven University Hospitals while being treated with the antifibrotic therapy — either pirfenidone (Esbriet, Genentech) or nintedanib (Ofev, Boehringer Ingelheim).

No major side effects occurred, although significant weight loss was observed during antifibrotic treatment. In most patients, forced vital capacity (FVC) stabilized after 12 weeks of treatment, but functional exercise capacity and lung allocation score remained the same. The researchers noted a decline in FVC, total lung capacity and diffusion capacity during the entire pretransplant time period of antifibrotic therapy.