Cystic Fibrosis Treatments
There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, but new treatments focus on helping patients live longer, fuller lives. Individualized treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation: This may include exercise, education, nutritional counseling and psychosocial counseling.
- Chest physical therapy: Using your hands or a variety of devices, percussion (pounding) helps loosen mucus in the lungs.
- Exercise: With precautions to avoid dehydration, exercise can help loosen mucus and make breathing easier.
- Medications, including:
- Antibiotics to fight infection
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (inhaled or oral) to reduce airway swelling
- Bronchodilators to relax the muscles surrounding the airways
- Bone density drugs to build bone mass
- Supplemental oxygen: This therapy may be necessary when blood oxygen levels are low because of mucus buildup.
- Lung transplant: Some CF patients may qualify for a lung transplant.
- Nutritional supplements: This is for patients who are not absorbing enough nutrition from their food.
- High-calorie, high-salt diet: This diet helps combat weight loss and dehydration due to excessive sweating.
- Feeding tube: A feeding tube helps some patients absorb more nutrients.