Objective: To evaluate the effect of long term use of doxycycline in IPF patients.
Materials and methods: Patients of IPF, selected randomly from out patient services and diagnosed on the basis of HRCT chest, were put on doxycycline in an open prospective trial. They were followed up with monitoring of subjective well being along with measurement of pulse rate and arterial oxygen saturation at rest and after a fixed and certain exercise, forced vital capacity, six minutes walk test, St Georges Respiratory questionnaire, and serial chest X-rays.
Results: Out of seven patients put on doxycycline, six of them continued the drug for a mean period of 531.43 (+/- 328.88 days). All the patients tolerated the drug well and had shown uniform subjective and overall objective improvement in all the parameters concerned; the change in the radiological parameter being statistically significant.
Conclusion: Doxycycline merits an appropriate clinical trial in the management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This widely used and relatively safe drug can add a new dimension to the therapeutic regimen. However, further in-depth studies will be required to evaluate its role in the management of IPF.
Keywords: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; doxycycline; matrix metalloprotein.