Esbriet: what is it for? Find out how it works and whether SUS provides

With the advancement of technologies, diseases that previously did not have specific drugs for their treatment now have more control and treatment resources.

This is the case of Esbriet, a medication used in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a condition considered rare and severe.

Understand more about the remedy and its action:

What is Esbriet?

Esbriet is the trade name for the active ingredient pirfenidone.

It is a new drug, manufactured by Roche – a pharmaceutical company – and is used in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Its ingestion is performed orally and it works to reduce the accumulation of inflammatory cells in the body.

What is Esbriet for?

According to the package insert, Esbriet is used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – a disease characterized by the presence of fibrosis, when the body replaces the healthy tissue of the lungs with a scar tissue, severely hindering the breathing process.

Progressively, the disease may worsen in a short period of time and lead to death.

Despite having no cure, medications like Esbriet can slow the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. It is indicated for adult patients and there is no evidence of efficacy and safety in pediatric treatment.

Studies show that there was a 38% reduction in the risk of death in patients who underwent up to two years of treatment.

How does pirfenidone work?

There is still no complete definition of the mechanism of action of the substance pirfenidone.

However, according to studies, the active ingredient reduces the accumulation of inflammatory cells and decreases the formation of fibroblasts (fibrosis cells) and substances that stimulate inflammation.

This means that there may be a reduction in the progression of the disease, preventing the lung capacity from continuing to be worsened. In addition, the death rates and complications resulting from chronic pulmonary fibrosis are also reduced.

What is the dosage of the capsules?

Each Esbriet capsule contains 267mg of the active ingredient pirfenidone. The remedy is available in packs of:

Each Esbriet capsule contains 267mg of the active ingredient pirfenidone. The remedy is available in packs of 270 capsules.

How to take?

The medication is administered orally, and it is recommended to swallow them with water with or near a meal, to reduce the chances of symptoms of nausea and malaise.

The use is carried out gradually, starting with a small dosage of the medication, which increases with the passage of treatment, as indicated by the doctor. In general, the package insert advises that the medication should be used as follows:

  • Days 1 to 7: one capsule, three times a day (801 mg / day);
  • Days 8 to 14: two capsules, three times a day (1602 mg / day);
  • Days 15 onwards: three capsules, three times a day (2403 mg / day).

Side effects and contraindication

Like other medicines, Esbriet can have some side effects.

The most recurring are:

  • Respiratory tract infection;
  • Anorexia;
  • Insomnia;
  • Headache;
  • Alteration of taste;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breathe;
  • Rash;
  • Fatigue;
  • Joint pain.

Other less common but also recurring reactions are:

  • Reduced appetite;
  • Urinary infection;
  • Gastritis;
  • Itch;
  • Sensitivity to sunlight;
  • Weakness;
  • Gases;
  • Chest pain.

It is important to remember that each organism reacts differently to the medication. That way, not all patients will necessarily have the symptoms.

Read more: Anorexia: what it is, symptoms and treatment

Value: what is Esbriet’s price?

The Esbriet is an expensive drug, with values ranging from R $ 12,180 and R $ 13,230 *.

It can be found in physical pharmacies and online with a simple medical prescription – when there is no prescription retention.

* Price consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

Does SUS provide?

No . Currently, the Unified Health System does not supply Esbriet. However, patients with a medical indication for the use of the medication can go to court to receive it.

For this, it is necessary to open a case, following the stipulated procedures. Among them, submit the Medical Report, exams, standard requirement, in addition to the budget of 3 pharmacies.

For those who will make the request, it is possible to count on the personalized assistance of the high cost medication quotation advisory , which realizes a personalized budget, in a simple and facilitated way.

What is the registration with Anvisa?

Esbriet was registered by Anvisa in 2016, with therapeutic class of products for the respiratory system and is inserted in the category of new medicines.

It was the first drug in the world produced for the treatment of the disease and was already available in other countries. As of 2016, it also started to circulate in Brazil.


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a rare disease, which, until then, had no specific medication for treatment.

To that end, Esbriet has emerged, which despite not yet presenting details on its mechanism of action, has shown positive results in combating the disease.

The Healthy Minute has other information about diseases and medications . Keep reading!

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