Nintedanib for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2018 Feb;19(2):167-175. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2018.1425681. Epub 2018 Jan 12.


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is an interstitial lung disease characterized by the progressive loss of pulmonary function, ultimately leading to respiratory failure and death. Two novel compounds, nintedanib and pirfenidone, have shown efficacy in reducing the rate of decline of lung function in IPF patients. The multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitor nintedanib has extensively being studied as a potential angiogenesis inhibitor in clinical against various neoplastic disorders. Afterwards, this compound was successfully tested in IPF. Areas covered: Herein, the authors review the working mechanisms of nintedanib, its pharmacological profile, and its efficacy and safety for patients with IPF. Expert opinion: Nintedanib has shown to be safe and effective in patients with IPF, with a favorable long-term safety profile. There is a lack of comparative trials of pirfenidone and nintedanib, and the choice of treatment is left to the physicians' judgement. Future directions of nintedanib use are represented by the treatment of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease other than IPF, IPF with advanced functional impairment, and lung fibrosis secondary to connective tissue diseases. A promising safety profile for the combinational use of nintedanib and pirfenidone in IPF has also recently emerged.

Keywords: Anti-fibrotic drugs; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; nintedanib; tyrosine kinase inhibition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Indoles / adverse effects
  • Indoles / metabolism
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Indoles / therapeutic use*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Indoles
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • nintedanib