(BPT) - It takes grit, dedication and commitment to go up against a serious and irreversible disease like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This lesser-known condition, which causes scarring of the lungs, is considered “rare,” but still kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year — just as many as breast cancer. Following are five ways to fight IPF.
1. Know your opponent — understanding the disease
IPF is a progressive disease that causes the lungs to become permanently scarred. While IPF is considered “rare,” up to 132,000 people are affected in the U.S. and there are 50,000 newly diagnosed cases annually. It’s important to understand IPF and determine when to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
2. An early and accurate diagnosis is critical in the fight
An IPF diagnosis can take as long as two years, and during that time, the disease may worsen. That’s why it’s important to speak with a lung specialist, a pulmonologist who can perform the proper diagnostic tests right away.
3. Identify your fighting strategy — develop a treatment plan
After diagnosis, a treatment plan is the first step to helping slow the progression of your IPF. Talk to your doctor about OFEV® (nintedanib) capsules, a treatment for IPF. OFEV is the only twice-daily pill that helps slow the progression of IPF by slowing the decline in lung function. Learn more: www.ofev.com/about-ofev.
4. Know who’s in your corner — support can help
Finding the right support team can make a big difference after your IPF diagnosis. Having the right pulmonologist will help you get the needed answers to keep fighting. Whether you’re an Ofev patient, caregiver or family member, look to OPEN DOORS™ Patient Support Program to provide personalized support and advice: www.ofev.com/support.
5. Keep fighting — never give up hope
IPF is not contagious, but the way you live your life can be. Keep fighting to inspire your loved ones. You’re not alone in this fight, Boehringer Ingelheim is in your corner and committed to the IPF community through advancing IPF research and treatment options. Keep fighting: www.ofev.com.
What is Ofev?
Ofev is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). It is not known if Ofev is safe and effective in children.
Important Safety Information
What is the most important information I should know about Ofev® (nintedanib)?
Ofev can cause harm, birth defects or death to an unborn baby. Women should not become pregnant while taking Ofev. Women who are able to become pregnant should have a pregnancy test before starting treatment and should use birth control during and for at least 3 months after your last dose. If you become pregnant while taking Ofev, tell your doctor right away.
What should I tell my doctor before using Ofev?
Before you take Ofev, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver problems
- heart problems
- a history of blood clots
- a bleeding problem or a family history of a bleeding problem
- had recent surgery in your stomach (abdominal) area
- any other medical conditions.
Tell your doctor if you:
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Ofev passes into your breast milk. You should not breastfeed while taking Ofev.
- are a smoker. You should stop smoking prior to taking Ofev and avoid smoking during treatment.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements such as St. John’s wort.
What are the possible side effects of Ofev?
Ofev may cause serious side effects.
TELL YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY if you are experiencing any side effects, including:
- Liver problems. Unexplained symptoms may include yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice), dark or brown (tea colored) urine, pain on the upper right side of your stomach area (abdomen), bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, feeling tired, or loss of appetite. Your doctor will do blood tests regularly to check how well your liver is working during your treatment with Ofev.
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Your doctor may recommend that you drink fluids or take medicine to treat these side effects. Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms, if they do not go away, or get worse and if you are taking over-the-counter laxatives, stool softeners, and other medicines or dietary supplements.
- Heart attack. Symptoms of a heart problem may include chest pain or pressure, pain in your arms, back, neck or jaw, or shortness of breath.
- Stroke. Symptoms of a stroke may include numbness or weakness on 1 side of your body, trouble talking, headache, or dizziness.
- Bleeding problems. Ofev may increase your chances of having bleeding problems. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bleeding, bruising, or wounds that do not heal and/or if you are taking a blood thinner, including prescription blood thinners and over-the-counter aspirin.
- Tear in your stomach or intestinal wall (perforation). Ofev may increase your chances of having a tear in your stomach or intestinal wall. Tell your doctor if you have pain or swelling in your stomach area.
The most common side effects of Ofev are diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, liver problems, decreased appetite, headache, weight loss, and high blood pressure.
These are not all the possible side effects of Ofev. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit https://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm or call 1-800-FDA-1088.