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Tips for staying positive during IPF treatment

There may be ups and downs throughout your journey with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Staying positive can be difficult, but there are ways you can take care of your mental and emotional health. Here are some tips to help you stay positive, relaxed, and motivated.

Being proactive

Being proactive: Keep an open dialogue going with your doctor. Tell your doctor about your experiences and any side effects you have with treatment, because he or she may have tips to help you manage those side effects.

Expressing yourself

Expressing yourself: Use the Tracking Your Journey journal to make note of your thoughts and feelings, and questions to ask your doctor at your next visit. Talk to loved ones about how you’re feeling—sharing your feelings with another person can help.

Reflecting on your day

Reflecting on your day: Take a moment each evening to think about what made you happiest that day. Share this moment with a loved one or write it down in your journal.


Joining an IPF support group can be a great way to connect with others who understand your struggles and can celebrate your successes.

Patient Ambassador Norma

I encourage you to do what brings you joy and use the time you have to appreciate what you have...For me, living my life day by day, moment by moment, is the only way to live. I am so grateful for these moments."

Esbriet Ambassador


Relaxation techniques

There are lots of ways that relaxation techniques may help you manage the stress of living with an unpredictable disease like IPF. Studies show that following these tips could help trigger your body’s natural relaxation response, resulting in:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • A feeling of increased wellbeing

Relaxation techniques aren’t hard to learn, but they are skills. Like any skill, they take some practice. Invite a family member or friend to join you.

Make an appointment to relax

Make an “appointment” to relax

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends the following relaxation exercises:

  • Take slow, even breaths
  • Focus on pleasant images or memories to replace negative or stressful feelings
  • Tighten and relax different muscle groups throughout your body. For example, make a fist for a moment, then relax. Next, flex your arms and relax them. Then move on to other muscle groups

Other practices that can also promote relaxation include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. You can find more information about these techniques at

If you have additional questions about Esbriet, talk to your doctor or call 1-844-My-Esbriet (1-844-693-7274) and press 1 to speak with a nurse.

*The nurse support line does not offer medical advice. If you have questions about your health or treatment, you are encouraged to contact your healthcare provider.

Esbriet Inspiration Program


Sign up to receive ongoing support and information from the Esbriet​® Inspiration Program, as well as inspiration to start right and stay strong on treatment.

About Esbriet

Esbriet® (pirfenidone) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

It is not known if Esbriet is safe and effective in children.

Before you take Esbriet, tell your doctor if you:
  • have other medical conditions (particularly liver or kidney problems).
  • are a smoker.
  • are or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed (Esbriet has not been studied in these patients).
  • are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
What are the possible side effects of Esbriet?

Esbriet may cause serious side effects, including:

  • liver problems. Call your doctor if you have symptoms such as yellowing of your skin or eyes, dark or brown urine, pain on the upper right side of your stomach area, bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, or increased fatigue. Your doctor will also do regular blood tests to check your liver.
  • sun sensitivity and rash. When you are outside, use sunscreen (SPF 50) and wear a hat and clothes that cover your skin to avoid getting a sunburn.
  • stomach problems. Esbriet may cause stomach problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach pain.

Your doctor may change your dose or discontinue Esbriet if side effects do not go away.

The most common side effects of Esbriet include upper respiratory tract infections, feeling tired, headache, dizziness, loss of appetite, sinusitis, insomnia, or weight loss.

These are not all the possible side effects of Esbriet.

What should you avoid while taking Esbriet?
  • Direct exposure to sunlight, or light from sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • Other medicines that can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
  • Smoking, which may affect how well Esbriet works.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or or to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information, for additional important safety information.

    • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Advance notice of methodological changes for calendar year (CY) 2018 for Medicare Advantage (MA) capitation rates, Part C and Part D payment policies and 2018 call letter. Posted February 1, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2017.

      Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Advance notice of methodological changes for calendar year (CY) 2018 for Medicare Advantage (MA) capitation rates, Part C and Part D payment policies and 2018 call letter. Posted February 1, 2017. Accessed October 17, 2017.