Ofev side effects and how to avoid them
Ofev is a brand-name medication manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It is classified as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and used to treat certain lung conditions. While Ofev is generally well tolerated, there are some potential side effects that people should be aware of. The most common side effects of Ofev include high blood pressure. Less common, but more serious side effects, can include stomach and liver problems.
Learn more about the side effects of Ofev and what you can do to avoid them.
What is Ofev (nintedanib)?
Ofev is a medication prescribed to adults to treat:
- A lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
- A lung disease called systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD). Interstitial lung disease causes shortness of breath and breathing more difficult
- Long-lasting interstitial lung diseases in which lung fibrosis continues to get worse
These lung conditions can not be permanently cured but can be managed with medications like Ofev. Ofev helps to maintain your lung function, slow your decline in lung function, and reduces the risk of complications of your disease. Ofev can help you live with your condition and improve your quality of life.
How does Ofev work?
The active ingredient in Ofev is called nintedanib. It’s a type of drug called a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Nintedanib works by blocking the action of a group of enzymes in your cells called tyrosine kinases. These enzymes start and stop various processes inside your body. When used for lung conditions, blocking tyrosine kinases slows down how much collagen your fibroblast cells produce and blocks the production of other substances that promotes collagen formation.
Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Ofev, to make sure it is safe for you.
What side effects does Ofev have?
The most common possible side effects of Ofev include:
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Being sick (vomiting)
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
In rare instances, Ofev can cause more serious side effects, including:
- Heart attacks, or other heart problems. Symptoms may include chest pain or, pain in your neck, arms, back, or jaw
- Severe allergic reactions to the medication
- Increased levels of liver enzymes
- Liver problems that can reduce your liver function. Your healthcare provider will carry out blood tests before and during treatment
- An increased risk of bleeding problems
- Tears (perforations) in your stomach or intestines
- Serious diarrhea and vomiting
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How do I take Ofev?
Take Ofev orally with food twice daily. Your dosage will be based on the condition you are being treated for and how you respond to treatment. Swallow Ofev capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open the capsules. If you miss a dose of Ofev, skip the missed dose, and take your next dose at your scheduled time. Read the full prescribing Information and drug information provided with your medication before you start taking Ofev.
Ofev drug interactions
Ofev can interact with other medications including:
- Azole antifungal treatments such as ketoconazole
- Medications that increase bleeding such as clopidogrel
- NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, or naproxen
- Blood thinners such as warfarin
- Antibiotics such as erythromycin or rifampicin
- Anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine or phenytoin
- Herbal supplements such as St John’s Wort
Before taking Ofev, be sure to tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking to ensure they are safe to take at the same time.
Ofev warnings & precautions
Ofev can cause birth defects and the death of your unborn baby. If you’re a woman who can become pregnant, you should have a pregnancy test before taking Ofev. You should use effective birth control while taking Ofev, and for up to three months after your last dose. If you become pregnant while taking Ofev, or think you’re pregnant, contact your doctor right away.
Don’t take Ofev if you:
- Are allergic to the active ingredient nintedanib
- Are allergic to peanuts or soya
- Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Ofev
- Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
- Are under 18 years of age
Talk to your doctor before taking Ofev if you:
- Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Ofev
- Have any heart problems
- Have any liver problems
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have recently had abdominal surgery
- Have a history of bleeding problems or have close family members with bleeding problems
- Are a smoker
- Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed – It is not known if Ofev passes into breast milk
You should always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, including Ofev, to make sure it is safe for you.
How long does Ofev increase life expectancy?
Patients taking Ofev had life expectancy of around three times longer than those for patients taking a placebo
Do Ofev side effects go away?
Some side effects will go away during treatment as you get used to taking the medication. Read on for some more handy tips on how to reduce your side effects.
When do Ofev side effects start?
Side effects such as liver problems are often seen within the first 3 months of treatment, but can happen at any time during treatment. Certain individuals may be at higher risk of side effects such as liver damage.
What are the benefits of taking Ofev?
Ofev helps to treat lung conditions such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and interstitial lung disease). These conditions both cause scarring and make your lungs more rigid making it more difficult for you to breathe. Ofev will help to slow the worsening of this type of lung disease.
Does Ofev affect the eyes?
Ofev may cause jaundice in some patients and cause yellowing of your eyes. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice this side effect, as it will be due to problems with your liver function.
Does Ofev cause hair loss?
Some patients have reported hair loss while using this treatment. Speak to your healthcare provider for medical advice if you experience this side effect.
How to avoid Ofev side effects
The best way to avoid side effects is to take Ofev as directed by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and do not take more or less than prescribed.
If you experience any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to recommend ways to help reduce or prevent some of the side effects.
1. Stick to the recommended dosage
Take your prescribed dose of Ofev that has been recommended by your healthcare professional. Do not take more or less than prescribed.
2. Monitor your blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely while taking Ofev. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor and report any changes to your doctor immediately.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water or fluids every day to help prevent dehydration, which can make side effects worse.
4. Avoid alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Ofev. Ofev and excessive alcohol consumption can both cause liver problems.
5. Don’t skip meals
Eating regular meals and snacks will help to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
6. Check your feet
If you have diabetes, check your feet for any cuts, sores, or redness regularly. Tell your doctor if you experience any problems with your feet while taking Ofev
7. Know the signs and symptoms of Ofev side effects
Signs and symptoms of side effects of Ofev include loss of appetite and stomach pain. If you experience any of these symptoms speak to your doctor for medical advice.
8. Monitor your weight
Ofev may cause weight loss. If you experience this side effect while taking Ofev, get medical advice from your doctor.
9. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking
Be sure to tell your doctor about all other medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as they can interact with Ofev.
10. Get regular medical check ups
It is important to get regular medical check ups and monitor your medical conditions. Your doctor will monitor your side effects and may adjust your dose of Ofev as needed.
A medical professional has reviewed this article.