Thursday, August 23, 2012

Five Fibrosis Treatment Options

Fibrosis can be the result of lung diseases that cause the organs' air sacs to scar. This causes the lungs to thicken and lose the suppleness that makes it easy to breathe. In turn, the blood is deprived of oxygen, which causes shortness of breath. There are several modalities used to treat fibrosis.


Right now fibrosis is not curable by medicines, though some medicines are used to ease the symptoms of the disease. One of them is prednisone, which is an anti-inflammatory. This medicine be taken two different ways, orally or taken intravenously, then orally. Because of its side effects, prednisone needs to be used and prescribed with care and the doctor will need to closely monitor the patient while he or she is on it. Another type of fibrosis treatment is azathioprine, which is used in conjunction with prednisone. This drug is an immunosuppresant and also needs to be prescribed with care. A drug that's often taken with prednisone and azathioprine is N-acetylcysteine, which is an anti-oxidant. This means it helps to prevent free radical damage to the cells of the body, including the cells of the lungs. However, some studies have found that this three drug fibrosis treatment may do more harm than good for patients.


Though vaccines that are usually taken to prevent pneumonia and the flu don't slow down the progress of fibrosis, they can prevent the lungs from becoming infected by the viruses and bacteria that cause these diseases. For a patient to contract another pulmonary disease when he or she already has fibrosis is exceptionally dangerous.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

This is s group of treatments that help people with fibrosis and other lung disorders cope with their malady. Fibrosis patients are helped by specialists in a clinic with exercise, diet and nutrition, education, counseling and techniques that assist their breathing and help them conserve their energy.

Oxygen Therapy

This helps the patient when, due to the fibrosis, the oxygen in his or her blood gets too low. The oxygen can be delivered through a mask or nasal cannula attached to a tank or a machine.

Lung Transplant

This fibrosis treatment is the treatment of last resort for people with severe fibrosis. Lung donors are not common and the risks of a transplant can be rejection, where the body recognizes the new organ as foreign and tries to reject it, and infection, which is a common risk of any major surgery.

Because of this it's more common for hospitals to perform this transplant on older patients, who will have to be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives.

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