Nintedanib for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Abisola Tepede, Dinesh Yogaratnam
Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2019, 32 (2): 199-206

OBJECTIVE: To review the pharmacology, safety, and efficacy of nintedanib for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

METHODS: A literature search was conducted via PubMed using the MeSH term "idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis" combined with the key word "nintedanib." Additional online searches using Google Scholar, Micromedex, and PubMed were performed to obtain prescribing and cost information.

RESULTS: One phase II and 2 replicate phase III clinical trials that examined the safety and efficacy of nintedanib for IPF were identified. In patients with IPF, nintedanib was more effective than placebo in slowing the annual rate of decline in forced vital capacity (FVC). Improvements in mortality, quality of life, and risk of acute exacerbations have not been consistently demonstrated in clinical trials. Diarrhea was the most common adverse effect associated with nintedanib use. Outside of these clinical trials, there are limited data evaluating nintedanib for the treatment of IPF.

CONCLUSIONS: Nintedanib is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with IPF. Nintedanib slows IPF disease progression by reducing the rate of decline in FVC. Reductions in mortality and acute exacerbations may be present in certain subgroups of patients, but these outcomes require further research. Future studies on nintedanib are needed to explore its use in more advanced stages of IPF, its long-term safety and efficacy, its value in combination with pirfenidone or other therapies for IPF, and its cost-effectiveness in clinical practice.

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