Esbriet (pirfenidone) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat a lung condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The drug comes as an oral tablet and capsule. It’s usually taken three times per day.

Esbriet is prescribed to adults to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

The active ingredient in Esbriet is pirfenidone. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)

Esbriet belongs to a group of drugs called pyridones. This article describes the dosages of Esbriet, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Esbriet, see this in-depth article.

The table below highlights the basics of Esbriet’s dosage. All doses are listed in milligrams (mg).

1–7267 mg three times per day
8–14534 mg three times per day
15+801 mg three times per day

Keep reading for more details about Esbriet’s dosage.

What are Esbriet’s forms?

Esbriet comes in two oral forms: a tablet and a capsule.

What strengths does Esbriet come in?

The tablet is available in a strength of 267 mg. The capsule is available in a strength of 267 mg or 801 mg.

What are the usual dosages of Esbriet?

Your doctor will likely start by prescribing a low dosage, then adjusting it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Dosage for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

For the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the usual maintenance dosage of Esbriet is 801 mg three times per day.

Your doctor will likely start your prescription at a lower dosage and gradually increase it over 14 days to reach the maintenance dosage.

The usual starting dosage of Esbriet is 267 mg three times per day. After 1 week, your doctor will increase the dosage to 534 mg three times per day. Then, after taking this dosage for 1 week, your doctor may recommend that you take the maintenance dosage of 801 mg three times per day.

The table below shows a usual schedule during the first 3 weeks. Your doctor may change your prescription to the 801-mg capsules once you reach your maintenance dosage.

Esbriet should be taken with food.

DaysAt breakfastAt lunchAt dinner
1–7one 267-mg tablet or capsuleone 267-mg tablet or capsuleone 267-mg tablet or capsule
8–14two 267-mg tablets or capsulestwo 267-mg tablets or capsulestwo 267-mg tablets or capsules
15+three 267-mg tablets or capsulesthree 267-mg tablets or capsulesthree 267-mg tablets or capsules

Is Esbriet taken long term?

Yes, Esbriet is usually taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.

Dosage adjustments

Your doctor may lower your dosage of Esbriet if you:

The dosage of Esbriet you’re prescribed may depend on several factors, including:

  • whether you experience any side effects from Esbriet
  • whether you experience liver damage from Esbriet
  • whether you have kidney disease
  • other medications you take
  • how you respond to treatment

Esbriet comes as a tablet or capsule. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.

You should take Esbriet with food. Taking Esbriet with food helps to decrease nausea and dizziness. Try to take it on a schedule with set times each day.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Esbriet, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also see the “Expiration” section of this article.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

Let your pharmacist know if you have trouble opening medication bottles. They may have tips to help, or they may be able to supply Esbriet in an easy-open container.

If you miss a dose of Esbriet, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its usual time. You should not take two doses at once. And you should not take more than three doses of Esbriet in 1 day. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Esbriet on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not take more Esbriet than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to harmful effects.

What to do in case you take too much Esbriet

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Esbriet. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Esbriet’s dosage.

Are Esbriet’s dosages similar to the dosages of Ofev?

Esbriet and Ofev (nintedanib) share certain similarities, but they also have differences.

Both drugs are available as capsules. Esbriet also comes as an oral tablet. Esbriet and Ofev should both be taken with food.

The drugs have different dosing schedules. Esbriet is taken three times per day, and Ofev is taken twice per day.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for Esbriet to start working?

Esbriet starts to work as soon as you begin treatment, but you won’t feel the drug working in your body.

In studies, doctors reported that people who took Esbriet for interstitial lung disease had improved lung function tests after 1 year. But your doctor will monitor you throughout your treatment to determine how well the drug is working for you.

If you have questions about what to expect from your Esbriet treatment, talk with your doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Esbriet for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Esbriet without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Esbriet exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Is it cheaper to take one 801-mg capsule versus three 267-mg capsules?
  • If I have too many side effects from Esbriet, can you lower my dosage to twice per day?
  • If I need to take antibiotics for bronchitis, will you change my dosage of Esbriet?
  • What’s the difference between Esbriet capsules and Esbriet tablets?

To learn more about Esbriet, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.