Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

It is used to treat mild to moderate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (condition that causes reduced lung function and chronic shortness of breath due to excessive scarring and hardening of lung tissue).

The medication works by reducing fibrosis (thickening and scarring of lung tissue) in the lungs, hence delaying the progression of the disease and improving symptoms of breathlessness.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Do not stop taking your medication without checking with your healthcare professional.

  • This medicine should be taken with or after food.

  • Swallow capsules whole with liquid. Do not open, chew, or crush the capsules.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember – each dose should be separated by at least 3 hours. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if:

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication

  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding (remove if not needed)

  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.

  • You have liver disease and/or end stage kidney disease requiring dialysis

  • You are a smoker, and currently smoking

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn and abdominal pain

    • Take the medication after a meal to reduce gastric discomfort and nausea

    • Drink more water when having diarrhoea

    • These gastrointestinal side effects usually occur within the first 3 months of treatment and reduce over time

  • Giddiness, tiredness, headache

    • Take the medication after a meal to reduce giddiness

    • Do not drive or operate machinery if you feel giddy or tired

  • Weight loss

    • The doctor will monitor your weight while you are taking this medicine

  • Skin sensitivity to sun, rash, itch

    • This usually occurs in the first 6 months of treatment

    • Avoid prolonged exposure of skin to direct sunlight or sunlamps

    • When outside, use sunscreen (at least SPF 50) and wear protective clothing that cover your skin to avoid sunburns

  • Upper respiratory tract infection

  • Changes in taste

  • Joint pain

  • Insomnia

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

Some of other rare but serious side effects include:

  • Liver problem: Signs include dark urine or light coloured stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellowing of your eyes or skin

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis (severe skin reaction which may be life-threatening): Signs include red, flat or circular patches on the body, central blisters, skin peeling, ulcers of mouth, throat, nose, genitals and eyes, fever and flu-like symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Consult your healthcare professional if you are currently taking any other medications e.g. antidepressants or antibiotics, as it may increase levels of Pirfenidone in your body and lead to more side effects.

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

How should I throw away this medication safely?

For general waste: Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.


Please take note that the above is not a complete list of all possible side effects. If you have any concerns about your medication or if you have other side effects that you think are caused by this medication, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Oct 2022

Back to Top