Pulmonary Fibrosis NITreatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Learn MoreTreatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

There is no cure for PF and there are currently no procedures or medications that can remove the scarring from the lungs. Treatments are used to slow progression of the lung scarring, and may not necessarily lessen the symptoms of cough and breathlessness. Pirfenidone (Esbriet) and Nintedanib (OFEV) have both been shown to slow the progression of PF; however, some patients cannot take these medications due to their side effects. These medications are not approved for use in other interstitial lung diseases.

Some additional medications can be used to improve the symptoms of IPF, such as shortness of breath and cough. This includes treatment of Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) with anti-acid therapy and treatment of shortness of breath with opioids (a class of medications that includes morphine). Other treatments include supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation (exercise training, education and support for people with chronic lung disease), and lung transplant.

Learn MoreTreatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis.



Drug therapy for pulmonary fibrosis is often specific for the type of PF a patient has. Many medications exist and are available in NI >>


Oxygen is is normally prescribed by the Specialist Respiratory Nurse as required >>

Lifestyle changes

It is imperative that individuals cease to smoke and structure a healthy diet to ensure their lungs are as efficient as possible >>


Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a structured exercise program designed for people living with chronic lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis >>

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You may be offered ambulatory oxygen if after an assessment it is found that your oxygen levels drop while you are performing activities. Activities such as walking, going up the stairs, and doing some routine activities can be improved by using ambulatory oxygen. Your doctor or healthcare practitioner can perform a simple walking test to see whether ambulatory oxygen might help you.

Ambulatory oxygen is provided in the form of cylinders for walking outside the home. It is up to you whether you use ambulatory oxygen; some people prefer to slow down and stop and start in preference to wearing and carrying oxygen cylinders. It is however, important to remain mobile and active. Your muscles still need to be exercised otherwise they will lose strength and your exercise capacity will drop significantly if you do not continue moving around. We know that it is unpleasant to get breathless, but you should not avoid doing things because you get breathless.

It is important to remember that everyone who exercises to their maximum get breathless. Even elite athletes get breathless! If you find that you are avoiding doing things because you are getting breathless then maybe oxygen might help you. Sometimes ambulatory oxygen is needed to help perform activities of daily living such as washing and dressing and moving from room to room. For ambulatory oxygen inside the home, you would use your oxygen concentrator. Sometimes your doctor might suggest that you need oxygen for a minimum of 16 hours a day. Oxygen in this instance is being recommended to help maintain the health and function of your organs including your heart.

It is not being recommended to relieve breathlessness and it is important that you use oxygen in this instance. You may have 2 different prescriptions of oxygen; one for resting, sitting and sleeping and one for ambulating or moving around. There are a variety of oxygen delivery devices including nasal cannula and masks, all of which need to be assessed on you and you may have different oxygen prescriptions for each device. Always check with your local healthcare team if you are unsure of how you should use your oxygen.

Learn MoreManaging Breathlessness.

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Breathing Habits

Unhelpful breathing habits will make you feel more out of breath. Breathing using all your lungs rather than the top can help.

Breathing Control

Breathing control means breathing gently, using the least effort. It will help when you’re short of breath or feeling anxious. The technique below is sometimes taught in yoga.

Pursed Lips

Pursed-lips breathing can be used at any time to help you control your breathing. Breathe in gently through your nose, then purse your lips as though you’re going to blow out a candle.


Stand leaning backwards or sideways against a wall. Have your feet slightly apart, about one foot or 30cms away from the wall. Relax your hands down by your sides.

VideoOxygen Therapy.

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