Background: Pirfenidone is an antifibrotic compound approved for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We present our real-world experience in terms of Pirfenidone's effect on mortality and adverse events profile outside the restrictions of a clinical trial.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational intention to treat study of 82 consecutive IPF patients (UHH cohort).
Results: We observed a high 3-years survival rate of 73% without excluding patients who discontinued treatment for different reasons. The survival was compared to the survival of an IPF cohort from a tertiary referral center (RBH cohort). After exclusion of severe cases (DLco< 30%), in unadjusted analysis, the survival in the UHH cohort was better than in the RBH cohort (HR:0.32, 95% CI: 0.19-0.53, p < 0.0001). After adjustment for age, gender and FVC, the survival remained higher in the UHH cohort (HR:0.28, 95% CI: 0.16-0.48, p < 0.0001). We observed a similar safety profile compared to previously published data and a lower rate of drug discontinuation due to photosensitivity reactions.
Conclusion: Pirfenidone provides a survival benefit in a real-life IPF cohort compared to previously used medications. Counselling patients and proactively managing possible adverse effects can reduce the necessity to discontinue pirfenidone.
Keywords: IPF; Pirfenidone; Real-life; Survival.