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Drug Information

What is Pirfenidone used for?

Pirfenidone is used for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Pirfenidone may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by the doctor.

How does Pirfenidone work?

Pirfenidone acts by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and extracellular matrix that cause inflammation. It also inhibits the synthesis of collagen and reduces the fibroblast proliferation.

How to take Pirfenidone?

The dosage and the drug form depend on the age, weight and medical condition of an individual. Take Pirfenidone as prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew the tablet. Take the drug with or without food. However, taking the drug with food prevents stomach upset.

If you miss a dose of Pirfenidone, please take it immediately once you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

What are the drugs that interact with Pirfenidone?

Drugs that interact with Pirfenidone include the following:

  • Amiodarone
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Enoxacin
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Leflunomide
  • Lomitapide
  • Mibefradil
  • Mipomersen
  • Teriflunomide
  • Vemurafenib

This is not a comprehensive list of drug interactions. Consult your doctor to know more about other possible drug interactions.

What are the side effects of Pirfenidone?

The following are the most common side effects of Pirfenidone:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach upset
  • Diarrhoea
  • Heartburn
  • Itchy skin
  • Discolouration of skin
  • Headache
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

The following are the severe side effects and you may require immediate medical attention:

  • Swelling of face/throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Yellowing of skin
  • Rash
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark-coloured urine

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Please consult your doctor to know more about other possible side effects.

What special precautions should be followed while taking Pirfenidone?

  • Avoid using the medicine if you are allergic to Pirfenidone or similar drugs.
  • Seek doctor’s advice before taking any other drug or herbal products while on Pioglitazone medication.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery if Pirfenidone causes dizziness or blurred vision.
  • Avoid consumption of alcohol as it may worsen the side effects of Pirfenidone.
  • Avoid smoking while on Pirfenidone medication as it can decrease the effectiveness of the medicine.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun for a longer duration of time.

You are advised not to take Pirfenidone if

  • it has passed the expiry date of the medicine printed on the pack.
  • the foil or packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering or there is discolouration.

What should you tell your doctor before taking Pirfenidone?

  • Tell your doctor if you have any history of kidney or liver disease.
  • Inform the doctor if you are taking any other drugs, OTC medications, herbal products or nutritional supplements.
  • Tell your doctor if you are undergoing dialysis.

Frequently asked questions about Pirfenidone

  1. Is Pirfenidone safe to use during pregnancy?
  2. The safe and effective use of Pirfenidone during pregnancy has not been established.

  3. How should Pirfenidone be stored?
  4. Pirfenidone should be stored at room temperature (25 – 30OC), away from heat, light and excess moisture. Keep the medication away from the reach of children.

  5. Is it safe to alter the dose of Pirfenidone?
  6. No. Altering the dose of Pirfenidone is not advised as it may increase the risk of side effects.


The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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