If you have a certain kind of lung disease, your doctor may suggest treatment with Ofev. It’s a prescription medication used to treat certain conditions that cause scarring and inflammation in the lungs.
Specifically, Ofev is used to treat the following conditions in adults:
- idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (scarring in the lungs with no known cause)
- chronic (long-term) interstitial lung disease with worsening fibrosis (scarring)
- interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis (a condition that causes tissues in your body to become thickened and scarred)
Ofev contains the active ingredient nintedanib. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Ofev comes as a capsule that you swallow. It’s not available as a generic drug.
Keep reading to learn more about Ofev, including the recommended dosage, side effects, cost, and more.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Ofev that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Ofev comes as a capsule that you swallow.
Strengths: 100 mg and 150 mg
Ofev capsules are available in strengths of 100 milligrams (mg) and 150 mg.
Regardless of the condition you’re taking Ofev to treat, the recommended dosage is 150 mg taken twice per day, about 12 hours apart.
To learn more about Ofev’s dosage, see this article.
Questions about Ofev’s dosing
Below are some common questions about Ofev’s dosing.
- What if I miss a dose of Ofev? If you miss a dose of Ofev, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at its regular time. You should not take more than one dose of Ofev at a time. This could raise your risk of side effects.
- Will I need to use Ofev long term? Yes. If you and your doctor agree that Ofev is working well for you, you’ll likely take the drug long term.
- How long does Ofev take to work? Ofev begins working as soon as you take a dose. But because of how the drug works, it’s not likely that you’ll feel it working in your body. If you have questions about what to expect with Ofev treatment, talk with your doctor.
Like most drugs, Ofev may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Ofev may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the possible side effects of Ofev. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Ofev can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Ofev’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Ofev that have been reported include:
- mild diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- pain or tenderness in your belly
- reduced appetite
- weight loss
- high levels of liver enzymes
- mildly high blood pressure
- fatigue (low energy)
- back pain
- mild allergic reaction*
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Ofev can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Ofev, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Ofev that have been reported include:
- severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- liver damage
- blood clot
- heart attack
- severe bleeding
- kidney damage, leading to protein in your urine
- hypertensive crisis (severely high blood pressure)
- gastrointestinal perforation (holes in your stomach or intestines)
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Ofev. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary, depending on many factors. These factors include your insurance plan (if you have one) and which pharmacy you use.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called Open Doors may also be available for Ofev.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Ofev.
How does Ofev compare with similar drugs, such as pirfenidone (Esbriet)?
Ofev and pirfenidone (Esbriet) are both used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (scarring in the lungs with no known cause) in adults.
Both Ofev and Esbriet come as a capsule that you swallow, and both are taken with food. (Esbriet is also available as a tablet that you swallow and take with food).
The drugs have some similar side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, and liver-related side effects.
But these drugs also have some differences. For example, Esbriet may cause your skin to be more sensitive to light, including sunlight. It may not be the best treatment choice if you spend a lot of time in the sun.
On the other hand, Ofev can cause blood clots in rare cases. It may not be the best treatment choice if you have heart disease or other heart problems that raise your risk of blood clots.
To learn more about how Ofev and Esbriet compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What is Ofev’s cost with Medicare?
Ofev’s cost with Medicare will vary, depending on a few factors. These include:
- the specifics of your Medicare plan and whether it includes prescription drug coverage
- the pharmacy you use
To learn more about Ofev’s cost with Medicare, contact your insurance provider. You can also talk with your pharmacist to get a cost estimate for your Ofev prescription.
How does Ofev work?
Ofev is used to treat certain conditions that cause scarring and inflammation in the lungs.
Ofev works by slowing the buildup of scar tissue in your lungs. It does so by blocking certain enzymes (proteins) in your body that help form scar tissue.
To learn more about the conditions Ofev treats and how it works, see the “What is Ofev used for?” section below. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about how Ofev works.
Does Ofev cause eye-related side effects?
No, Ofev should not cause eye-related side effects. These weren’t reported by people taking Ofev in studies.
Sometimes, drugs called corticosteroids are used to treat interstitial lung disease. (Ofev also treats interstitial lung disease in certain cases.) And corticosteroids may cause eye-related side effects. But Ofev is not a corticosteroid and isn’t known to affect the eyes.
Check out this article to learn more about corticosteroids and possible effects on vision. But this side effect isn’t expected with Ofev.
Ofev is used to treat certain kinds of lung disease in adults. See below for details.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. With idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, you have scarring in the lungs with no known cause. Symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
- dry cough that doesn’t go away
- discomfort in your chest
- fatigue (low energy)
Chronic interstitial lung disease with worsening fibrosis (scarring). Interstitial lung disease is a group of conditions that affects the air sacs in your lungs. Over time, scarring gets worse and decreases how well your lungs work. Symptoms of this condition may include:
- dry cough
- shortness of breath, especially with exercise or climbing stairs
- discomfort or pain in your chest
Interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis. Systemic sclerosis is a condition that leads to tissues in your body becoming thickened and scarred. Symptoms of interstitial lung disease are described above.
Each condition described above involves scarring in your lungs. Ofev works by slowing the buildup of scar tissue in your lungs. It does so by blocking certain enzymes (proteins) in your body that are needed for scar tissue to form. Over time, preventing new scar tissue from forming helps reduce how fast your condition and symptoms worsen.
Before you begin taking Ofev, there are important considerations to discuss with your doctor. This includes telling your doctor about any medications you may take and your complete health history. This allows your doctor to check for interactions with Ofev.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Ofev, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter types. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Ofev.
For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings”section below.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Ofev can interact with several kinds of drugs. Examples include:
- drugs that affect a certain enzyme (protein), such as the:
- seizure medications carbamazepine (Tegretol, others) and phenytoin (Dilantin)
- heart drugs diltiazem (Cardizem LA, others) and verapamil (Calan SR, others)
- antifungal drug ketoconazole
- antibiotic drug rifampin
- antibiotics clarithromycin and erythromycin (Ery-Tab)
- herbal supplement St. John’s wort
- blood thinners, such as warfarin (Jantoven) or apixaban (Eliquis)
This list doesn’t contain all types of drugs that may interact with Ofev. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur while taking Ofev.
Ofev can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Ofev is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Ofev. Factors to consider include those described below.
Bleeding problem. Ofev increases your risk of bleeding. If you already have a bleeding problem, your risk of bleeding may be higher while taking Ofev. Talk with your doctor to learn more about whether Ofev is safe for you.
Heart problems. Ofev can cause heart-related side effects, including hypertensive crisis and heart attack. If you already have a heart problem, such as heart disease, you may have a higher risk of these side effects while taking Ofev. The drug could also worsen your existing heart condition. If you have a heart condition, talk with your doctor about whether Ofev is safe for you.
Liver problems. Ofev may cause liver-related side effects, including liver damage in rare cases. Due to this risk, doctors typically won’t prescribe Ofev if you have a moderate or severe liver problem.
If you have a mild liver problem and your doctor decides to prescribe Ofev for you, they’ll likely prescribe a lower dose. If you have a liver problem, ask your doctor whether Ofev is right for you.
Severe kidney problem. Ofev hasn’t been studied in people with severe kidney problems, such as end-stage kidney disease. If you have a kidney problem, talk with your doctor about whether Ofev is safe for you to take.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Ofev or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Ofev. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Ofev and alcohol
There’s no known interaction between Ofev and alcohol. But Ofev and alcohol can cause similar side effects, such as diarrhea, headache, and nausea. Combining alcohol and Ofev may raise your risk of these side effects or could make the side effects that you experience worse.
If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about how much, if any, is safe for you to drink while taking Ofev.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
See below for details on whether Ofev can be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Ofev and pregnancy
Ofev is not safe to take during pregnancy because it could cause harm to a fetus.
If you can become pregnant:
- your doctor will have you take a pregnancy test before prescribing Ofev for you
- your doctor will recommend that you use birth control while taking Ofev and for at least 3 months after your last dose
If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.
Ofev and breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is not recommended while taking Ofev. It isn’t known if the drug passes into breast milk. But based on how the drug works, the drug could cause serious side effects in a breastfed child.
If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about your treatment options.
Your doctor will explain how you should take Ofev. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Ofev comes as a capsule that you swallow.
Accessible medication containers and labels
If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Ofev in an easy-to-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it easier to open the drug’s container.
Questions about taking Ofev
Below are some common questions about taking Ofev.
- Can Ofev be chewed, crushed, or split? No, you should not chew, crush, or split Ofev capsules. Ofev capsules must be swallowed whole.
- Should I take Ofev with food? Yes, you should take each Ofev dose with food.
- Is there a best time of day to take Ofev? There’s no best time of day to take Ofev. But it’s important that you take your doses about 12 hours apart each day. This helps keep a steady level of Ofev in your body.
Do not take more Ofev than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than prescribed can result in side effects or even overdose.
What to do in case you take too much Ofev
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Ofev. 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.
If you still have questions about taking Ofev, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- How does Ofev compare with other medications that may treat my condition?
- Do any of my health conditions increase my risk of side effects with Ofev?
- If I have side effects from taking Ofev, is there a lower dosage I could try?
- How will we monitor whether Ofev is working well for me?
To learn more about Ofev, see these articles:
- Ofev and Cost: What You Need to Know
- Side Effects of Ofev: What You Need to Know
- All About Ofev’s Dosage
To get information on different conditions and tips for improving your health, subscribe to any of Healthline’s newsletters. You may also want to check out the online communities at Bezzy. It’s a place where people with certain conditions can find support and connect with others.
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.