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How to manage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

Q: Sir my brother-in-law is suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). He is in London and the medications are not working, i.ee there is no improvement even after medications. Is there any alternative treatment in India, and if so please give us the details and the hospitals? He is having dry cough and breathlessness as the symptoms. Your advice in this matter is appreciated.

A:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a condition for which various names exist. However, in most cases no explanation can be established for the disease, and no specific treatment is available to cure it. For the most part, treatment is limited to the attempt to reduce syptoms of cough, wheezing and breathlessness. Many victims eventually have to rely on supplementary oxygen for relief. Corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs sometimes appear to help, but often the benefit is negligible while side effects may be severe from these potent agents. There are some experimental drugs available in a number of university research hospitals, but preliminary findings do not appear to be encouraging. Lung transplantation is sometimes an option, but this is still a very rare solution. It may be reasonable to take antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E, along with selenium and cysteine: optimal dosages have not been established, but the risk of even large dosages is negligible.

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