Importance of the field: Many chronic diseases of various etiologies lead to fibrosis and organ dysfunction. Despite many advances in medicine in recent years, options to slow the progression of fibrotic diseases have remained limited. The recent availability of pirfenidone, an antifibrotic and anti-inflammatory investigational agent, thus offers a new hope for treating progressive fibrotic diseases.
Areas covered in this review: This review provides concise review of the available data regarding the mechanism and pharmacokinetics of pirfenidone and preclinical and clinical data regarding efficacy and safety in fibrotic diseases of the kidney. It also reviews results of clinical trials involving pirfenidone in other fibrotic diseases.
What the reader will gain: The review will provide in-depth review of pirfenidone with a renal focus.
Take home message: Because many of the available clinical trials have been small and/or uncontrolled, conclusive evidence regarding efficacy and safety of pirfenidone is lacking, particularly in patients with renal or hepatic dysfunction. Larger studies are needed to better understand long-term efficacy and safety of this medication in various patient populations.