German Guideline for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis - Update on Pharmacological Therapies 2017
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe and often fatal disease with a median survival of 2 - 4 years after diagnosis. Since the publication of the German IPF guideline in 2013 new treatment trials have been published, necessitating an update of the pharmacological therapy of IPF. Different from the previous guideline, the GRADE system was discarded and replaced by the Oxford evidence classification system which allows a more differentiated judgement. The following pharmacological therapies were rated not suitable for the treatment of IPF patients (recommendation A; evidence 1-b): triple therapy with prednisolone, azathioprine and acetyl-cysteine; imatinib; ambrisentan; bosentan; macitentan. A less clear but still negative recommendation (B, 1-b) was attributed to the treatment of IPF with the phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitor sildenafil and acetyl-cysteine monotherapy. In contrast to the international guideline antacid therapy as a general treatment for IPF was rated negative, based on conflicting results of recent analyses (recommendation C; evidence 4). An unanimous positive recommendation was granted for the antifibrotic drugs nintedanib and pirfenidone for the treatment of IPF (A, 1-a). For some open questions in the management of IPF patients for which firm evidence is lacking the guideline also offers recommendations based on expert consensus.