Understanding PF

Treatment & Care

Treatment
Treatment options for PF depends on the underlying etiology. For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), unfortunately there is currently no cure and there are limited treatments available. If medically appropriate, supplemental reduce shortness of breath, and you should consult with your doctor to learn more.

Numerous therapies have been trialed in IPF, and unfortunately some medications have actually been shown to be harmful (e.g. immunosuppressants such as Azathioprine, anticoagulants such as Warfarin). There are currently two therapies approved by Health Canada to treat IPF. Please see below for more information.

  • There is new hope for IPF patients with the Health Canada approval of OFEV™ (nintedanib) for IPF. OFEV™ was approved on June 24, 2015 and we’ll have more information about availability soon.
    With the approval of OFEV™, patients who are diagnosed with IPF now have a choice of therapy. Working with their doctor, patients with IPF can determine which treatment option is right for them.
    The Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation will be working to ensure affordable access to this treatment in all the provinces.
    If you have any questions about this treatment and its availability please contact the Boehringer Ingelheim Customer Care Team at 1-800-263-2425.
  • Manitoba announced, in this bulletin (page 3), that they will be reimbursing Ofev as of January 25th, 2017 under Exceptional Drug Status with the following criteria outlined here. A list of other provinces that fund Ofev and the criteria, visit here (under Provinces Provide Choice for IPF Patients).
  • HeadStart™ Patient Assistance Program
    Download information on OFEV here: Product Monograph (PDF Version ~ 175K)
    Download the UHN Patient Education handout – OFEV

For types of PF other than IPF, treatment is variable, and may involve anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications. Your doctor will talk to you about which, if any, of these treatments may be right for you.

Hope
The Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is supporting the University Health Network’s Interstitial Lung Diseases Clinic at Toronto General Hospital with a research grant for their Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease research project. Read more…
Lung Transplant

Currently a lung transplant is the only effective cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis. The Multi Organ Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital can be consulted regarding lung transplants.

At some stage you may be considered as a candidate for a lung transplant. This is currently the only intervention known to prolong life in IPF patients. The first successful single lung transplant was done at Toronto General Hospital in 1983. The first double lung transplant was done at the same hospital in 1986. Toronto is one of the most experienced centres for lung transplant in North America, and provides care that is on par with the best programs in the world.

If you are referred there for a transplant, you can be sure of first-class treatment. Forty five percent of lung transplants in Canada go to patients with pulmonary fibrosis. The criteria for receiving a lung transplant are constantly changing. If you are interested in being considered for transplant, we recommend that you speak with your physician to see if you are an eligible candidate. New therapies are being developed on an ongoing basis that have the potential to improve outcomes of transplant recipients.

Although there are risks with a lung transplant, the quality of life after a transplant can be vastly improved.

In Canada, apart from finding a compatible donor lung(s), there are several other criteria that an eligible candidate must fulfill in order to be transplanted. Outside of lung disease, it is important that patients are in otherwise good health. In the end, each candidate is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

With the right patient at the right time, a lung transplant, while being a very risky and major operation, can indeed be a miracle, extending the patient’s life expectancy and improving their quality of life.

Please visit the University Health Network to find out more about the internationally renowned Multi-Organ Transplant Program. View a list of Transplant Programs in Canada.

Organ Donation
If you would like to become an organ donor, please visit the Organ Donation page.