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Clinical Trials Show Positive Results for Drugs Slowing Progression of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease that’s usually fatal. It causes scarring on the lungs, which impairs lung function and makes breathing difficult.

Once diagnosed, most patients don’t live past five years. A lung replacement gives the best chance of survival. But now results from a clinical trial have found that two drugs may slow down the progression of IPF.

Nintedanib and pirfenidone don’t cure the disease, but may provide an option other than a lung transplant. In one clinical trial, nintedanib reduced the decline of lung function and improved breathing. In another clinical trial, pirfenidone provided the same results and patients were able to walk longer distances. Both drugs slowed the progression of IPF.

IPF affects more than 100,000 people and typically strikes those between the ages of 50 and 70. Symptoms begin with a dry cough and shortness of breath. But they worsen with time, depleting oxygen and impairing lung function.

Although these clinical trials provide hope, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would still need to approve them. Researchers anticipate the positive results will lead to approval.

Pulmonary fibrosis can lead to physical impairments that may interfere with daily living. Those who haven’t been able to work for at least a year, or are expected not to be able to work for at least a year, may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Medical evidence must show the condition meets requirements of Social Security Administration (SSA) listings. Since IPF doesn’t have its own listing, other ways of qualifying may include criteria under asthma or chronic pulmonary insufficiency. But there could be alternatives as well. Sometimes a representative can help prove eligibility. You may also seek legal counsel if denied disability benefits for IPF. Contact Disability Help Group for help: 1-(800)-800-3332.