WHAT TREATMENTS ARE USED?

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Contents:

  • OUTPATIENT
  • INPATIENT
  • (*overview* — details on specific treatments provided in other sections)

    Outpatient

    Oral pancreatic enzymes (Creon, Pancrease, Cotazym); supplemental vitamin E; IV nutrition; CPT (chest physio therapy); respiratory exercises (Flutter, …); Deoxyribonuclease to cleave the DNA in sputum to reduce viscosity (or Pulmozyme (Dnase) by Genentech); hypertonic saline inhaled antibiotics (Colystin, Tobramycin, …) to fight pseudomonas (P.) aeruginosa.

    Inpatient

    Many of the treatments PWCF use are not well known by standard health professional types. Don’t expect to look up any of your therapies up in standard references (like the PDR) and to find them. You won’t find aerosolized antibiotics and you won’t get the right enzyme dose. So were do you look? The best bet is to look in medical journals (not an easy task) or to check the variety of CF publications. Enzyme dosing is frustrating; it seems to be 25% science and 75% witchcraft.

    Around here a typical (routine) hospital stay lasts 2-3 weeks depending on how fast one gets back to one’s baseline PFT numbers (or until the docs judge that you won’t be getting better). Treatment seems to consist of intravenous antibiotics (1-3 different meds selected for effectiveness at killing whatever bacteria grow from your sputum or throat cultures). In addition chest physical therapy (pounding) in conjunction with postural drainage (you get in various position intended to promote drainage from various lobes of the lung) happens four times a day. The pounding should not (normally, does not) hurt. Aerosolized bronchodialaters are often used, especially for those with an asthmatic component.

    More exotic treatments/procedures are available for more difficult cases.

    Less clearly needed treatments are also typically applied, as you might imagine (e.g., sleep deprivation, depersonalization, privacy deprivation, bizarre food experiments, testing of annoyance limits, and the like), but it’s never clear who orders these things!

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