Treatment with Esbriet (pirfenidone) reduces cough in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

The study, “Effect of pirfenidone on cough in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” appeared in the European Respiratory Journal. Its senior author was Dr. Marlies Wijsenbeek of the respiratory medicine department at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

Cough is a common symptom and predictor of IPF progression. But patient response to antitussive therapy is often inadequate. Effective treatments are also lacking due to the absence of extensive studies on cough improvement in IPF. Yet Esbriet may be a promising therapy.

Researchers conducted the study in the Netherlands, Italy, France and Great Britain to evaluate the effect of Esbriet — marketed by Genentech — on coughing in 43 IPF patients (including 33 men and 34 former smokers). They also measured Esbriet’s effect on subjective cough and quality of life.