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      Differences in tolerability of pirfenidone between elderly and younger patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

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          Although pirfenidone (PFD) is a key drug for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), differences in tolerability between elderly and young patients remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate age-related differences in adverse drug reactions to PFD and to evaluate whether patient age influences the safety and tolerability of PFD in clinical practice.

          Patients and method

          One hundred fifty-four patients with IPF were treated with PFD in our institution between May 2009 and April 2017; these patients were classified into 2 groups on the basis of age: ≥75 years of age (elderly patients) and <75 years of age (younger patients). In each group, the clinical course, laboratory data, radiographic findings, adverse events, and tolerability of PFD at 6 months and 1 year after administration were retrospectively analyzed.


          Among the 120 patients examined in this study, 31 patients (26%) were ≥75 years of age. The continuation rate of PFD at 1 year in the elderly patient group was significantly lower (n=11 [35%] vs 57 [64%], p=0.007) than in the younger patient group. Regarding adverse drug reactions to PFD, the incidence of gastrointestinal disorders including anorexia (n=24 [77%] vs 40 [45%], p=0.002) and the discontinuation caused by gastrointestinal disorders (n=11 [35%] vs 13 [15%], p=0.019) were significantly higher in elderly patients than those in younger patients. However, with the exception of gastrointestinal disorders, other adverse drug reactions did not significantly differ between elderly and younger patients.


          Compared with younger patients, elderly patients with IPF had a higher incidence of gastrointestinal disorders, along with an increased discontinuation rate of PFD. More careful management of gastrointestinal disorders may be required to ensure continuation of PFD in elderly patients.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

          Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a prototype of chronic, progressive, and fibrotic lung disease. Healthy tissue is replaced by altered extracellular matrix and alveolar architecture is destroyed, which leads to decreased lung compliance, disrupted gas exchange, and ultimately respiratory failure and death. In less than a decade, understanding of the pathogenesis and management of this disease has been transformed, and two disease-modifying therapies have been approved, worldwide. In this Seminar, we summarise the presentation, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment options available for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This disease has improved understanding of the mechanisms of lung fibrosis, and offers hope that similar approaches will transform the management of patients with other progressive fibrotic lung diseases.
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            Pirfenidone in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

            Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive lung disease without proven effective therapy. A multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised phase III clinical trial was conducted in Japanese patients with well-defined IPF to determine the efficacy and safety of pirfenidone, a novel antifibrotic oral agent, over 52 weeks. Of 275 patients randomised (high-dose, 1,800 mg x day(-1); low-dose, 1,200 mg x day(-1); or placebo groups in the ratio 2:1:2), 267 patients were evaluated for the efficacy of pirfenidone. Prior to unblinding, the primary end-point was revised; the change in vital capacity (VC) was assessed at week 52. Secondary end-points included the progression-free survival (PFS) time. Significant differences were observed in VC decline (primary end-point) between the placebo group (-0.16 L) and the high-dose group (-0.09 L) (p = 0.0416); differences between the two groups (p = 0.0280) were also observed in the PFS (the secondary end-point). Although photosensitivity, a well-established side-effect of pirfenidone, was the major adverse event in this study, it was mild in severity in most of the patients. Pirfenidone was relatively well tolerated in patients with IPF. Treatment with pirfenidone may decrease the rate of decline in VC and may increase the PFS time over 52 weeks. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.
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              Pirfenidone for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: analysis of pooled data from three multinational phase 3 trials

              Pirfenidone is an antifibrotic agent that has been evaluated in three multinational phase 3 trials in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We analysed pooled data from the multinational trials to obtain the most precise estimates of the magnitude of treatment effect on measures of disease progression. All patients randomised to pirfenidone 2403 mg·day−1 or placebo in the CAPACITY or ASCEND studies were included in the analysis. Pooled analyses of outcomes at 1 year were based on the pre-specified end-points and analytic methods described in the ASCEND study protocol. A total of 1247 patients were included in the analysis. At 1 year, pirfenidone reduced the proportion of patients with a ≥10% decline in per cent predicted forced vital capacity or death by 43.8% (95% CI 29.3–55.4%) and increased the proportion of patients with no decline by 59.3% (95% CI 29.0–96.8%). A treatment benefit was also observed for progression-free survival, 6-min walk distance and dyspnoea. Gastrointestinal and skin-related adverse events were more common in the pirfenidone group, but rarely led to discontinuation. Analysis of data from three phase 3 trials demonstrated that treatment with pirfenidone for 1 year resulted in clinically meaningful reductions in disease progression in patients with IPF.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                11 July 2019
                : 13
                : 2295-2303
                [1 ]Department of Respirology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University , Chiba 260-8670, Japan
                [2 ]Department of Pulmonary Medicine, International University of Health and Welfare, School of Medicine , Chiba 286-8686, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jiro TeradaDepartment of Respirology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University , 1-8-1 Inohana Chuo-ku, Chiba city, Chiba260-8670, JapanTel +81 43 226 2576Fax +81 43 226 2176Email jirotera@ 123456chiba-u.jp
                © 2019 Sakayori et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, References: 22, Pages: 9
                Original Research


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