High-Dose Acetylcysteine in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

  • Demedts M
  • Behr J
  • Buhl R
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic progressive disorder with a poor prognosis. Methods We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter study that assessed the effectiveness over one year of a high oral dose of acetylcysteine (600 mg three times daily) added to standard therapy with prednisone plus azathioprine. The primary end points were changes between baseline and month 12 in vital capacity and in single-breath carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO). Results A total of 182 patients were randomly assigned to treatment (92 to acetylcysteine and 90 to placebo). Of these patients, 155 (80 assigned to acetylcysteine and 75 to placebo) had usual interstitial pneumonia, as confirmed by high-resolution computed tomography and histologic findings reviewed by expert committees, and did not withdraw consent before the start of treatment. Fifty-seven of the 80 patients taking acetylcysteine (71 percent) and 51 of the 75 patients taking placebo (68 percent) completed on...

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Authors

  • Maurits Demedts

  • Juergen Behr

  • Roland Buhl

  • Ulrich Costabel

  • Richard Dekhuijzen

  • Henk M. Jansen

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