How do transforming growth factor inhibitors work?
Transforming growth factor (TGF) inhibitors are medications used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a chronic disease of unknown cause that scars and thickens the lungs, resulting in progressive loss of lung function.
The exact ways TGF inhibitors work has not been established, however, studies suggest that TGF inhibitors may reduce acute exacerbations of pulmonary fibrosis and improve lung function. TGFs are thought to decrease the chronic inflammation and healing process that cause fibrotic tissue growth in pulmonary fibrosis.
Transforming growth factors are protein molecules (cytokines) produced by many types of cells to promote tissue repair and wound healing. TGFs regulate many cell functions related to cell proliferation and differentiation and stimulate the production of proteins such as collagen that form an extracellular matrix, the structure that supports all cells.
TGF inhibitors reduce scar tissue formation by suppressing the activity of TGF-beta, which enables the growth of extracellular matrix in tissue healing. TGF inhibitors are also found to inhibit tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine produced by immune cells, which plays an active role in inflammation.
How are transforming growth factor inhibitors used?
Transforming growth factor inhibitors are oral tablets or capsules prescribed for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
What are side effects of transforming growth factor inhibitors?
Side effects of transforming growth factor inhibitors may include the following:
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Abdominal pain
- Dyspepsia (indigestion)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses)
- Weight loss
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
- Decrease in appetite
- Pruritus (itching)
- Asthenia (weakness)
- Dysgeusia (taste disorder)
- Noncardiac chest pain
- Increase in the levels of liver enzymes AST and ALT
- Agranulocytosis (low blood level of granulocytes, a type of immune cells with granules)
- Angioedema (swelling in the tissue under the skin or mucous membranes)
- Drug-induced liver injury
Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.