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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suffering with Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Can it be cured through alternative medicines?

Hi, My father (63 years old) has been diagnosed of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). He is currently in supplemental Oxygen and has been taking Pirfenidone (600mg) and Prednisolone (30mg) along with the other necessary tablets to combact the sideeffects of the steriods/immunosuppressants. Doctors have mentioned that there is no real cure for this. I am wondering if there are 1. Any promising clinical trials that is going on around IPF. 2. Any alternative medicines (Ayurveda, Homeo, etc) available for this. My father is in India (Bangalore). 3. One of the medicines I came across is the serrapeptase (enzyme supplement to dissolve the scar tissues). Would that be of any help for IPF and is it safe to take that along with the perfinidone/prednisolone. 4. Any additional data points on IPF that you can point to me. Any information or help on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Mon, 7 Oct 2013
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
IPF is a serious disease where by the patients lung gets fibrosed and the reason is unknown. Slowly the lungs capacity to exchange gas and maintain ventilation reduces and hence the cough and breathlessness.
Your dad is on the right treatment however the dose for perfenidone should be uptitrated to 1800 per day and steroids can be reduced to 10 mg slowly. Another drug that can be added and guidelines speak of showing some benefit is NAC (n acetyl cysteine) in a dose of 1800 per day again.
I m sorry but there is not much we can do for IPF patients, no new drug, no new significant trials.
Alternative medicines i have no idea whether they can help but hasnt heard of
Serratiopeptidase is useless in IPF patients
Lung transplant can be done and is the only treatment of benefit known but has its own complications
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